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Phantom Songs


Price: £9.52 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
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£9.52 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Amazon's 17 Hippies Store

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Phantom Songs + Heimlich + El Dorado
Price For All Three: £37.08

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Product details


1. Ton Etrangère
2. Lazy Friends & Promises
3. Biese Bouwe
4. Jolies Filles
5. Across Waters
6. Gimme Dat Harp Boy
7. Dorn
8. Singapore
9. Blumen Im Glas
10. Mädchen Im Glück
11. Moi
12. The Train
13. Herz Auf Der Zunge

Product Description

Product Description

The 17 Hippies are one of the most innovative acts in the German music scene today. They were a favourite of the late DJ and music critic Charlie Gillett and their last two albums had both garnered critical acclaim and began to build a grassroots base in the UK (in addition to that worldwide). The term world music does not suffice to describe the way in which the band has taken its musical strengths to top form in recent years. On previous albums they have reinterpreted such tunes as The Shadows 'Apache' and here they rework Captain Beefheart's 'Gimme Dat Harp Boy' in their own inimitable style. PHANTOM SONGS is the band's tenth album. They have toured across the globe performing in more than 20 countries so far. In March 2011, they will be the first German band ever to perform at the legendary WOMAD Festival in Australia and New Zealand. PHANTOM SONGS focuses on songs and stories. It shows the impressive musical path that the 17 HIPPIES are following. Without losing sight of their origins, they are constantly on the move - open, changeable, and with breath-taking ease... right on the pulse of time.

BBC Review

With their riotously entertaining gigs, this Berlin-based ‘orchestar spezial’ have been charming an ever-growing international audience since 1995. Theirs is a quintessentially European melange of styles, and having three lead singers who all switch between German, French and English makes them sound like several bands rolled into one. In spite of their name, there are usually a dozen of them onstage, playing an eclectic range of largely acoustic instruments, although this latest CD features half as many guests again.

Phantom Songs is only their fourth studio album and sees their combined songwriting efforts becoming gradually less quirky and more tuneful. The moods range from pensive to playful, and the diverse arrangements for brass, accordion, a plethora of stringed instruments and more are especially pleasing.

The expectant rush of Ton Étrangère makes for a strong opener, featuring the first of Kiki Sauer’s sensuously intoned vocals, which wander between alt-chanson and German cabaret. The Balkan Gypsy influence that’s been more prominent in the past is largely confined to Biese Bouwe ("Bad Boys"), an adaptation of an Albanian folk song that finds Dirk Trageser coming across like Rachid Taha singing in German. Having an English mother and a German father seems to have made 17 Hippies’ other main singer and songwriter Christopher Blenkinsop equally comfortable in both languages. His softer, more wistful tones are best showcased on The Train, one of several songs that venture into Americana. The droll humour that pervades their music is obvious here ("I’ve got a hat on, do you like my shoes?) and – even without the lyrics translated into all three languages in the CD booklet – also apparent on the laconic Moi.

It’s a shame that the lovely, evocative Singapore (not the Tom Waits song), with its jaunty banjo and keening clarinet solo by Antje Henkel, is the only instrumental. The only cover is a version of Captain Beefheart’s Gimme Dat Harp Boy, which pales in comparison to the unhinged original and is less adventurous than the oddball take on The Shadows’ Apache on their 2007 album Heimlich.

While it’s hard to see them crashing into the UK top 10 any time soon, 17 Hippies’ growing virtuosity and accessibility deserves to win them a wider audience. There used to be no substitute for seeing them live – where they are in their element – but this comes quite a bit closer.

--Jon Lusk

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