CD, ABC Jazz
Released 18 Apr, 2016
The multi-award winning, critically acclaimed and best-selling The Idea of North present their brand new studio album: Ballads.
Over the past two decades, The Idea of North have become renowned for phenomenal performances – using just the voices of their four members, soprano Sally Cameron, alto Naomi Crellin, tenor Nick Begbie and bass Andrew Piper. They’ve won the ARIA Award for Best Jazz Album, sold out venues throughout the world, and been heard by even more music-lovers globally through their acclaimed recordings.
This new album showcases what The Idea of North does best: beautiful songs in stunning arrangements. The Ballads concept began seven years ago with a concert of ‘Ballads by Candelight’ in the group’s home town of Adelaide. It was so successful that they’ve been touring that concert all over the country ever since.
From ABBA to Sting, and from Cold Chisel to originals by members of The Idea of North, this is an essential new album from a group who are now well-established as one of the jewels in Australia’s musical crown.
Ballads The Idea Of North (ABC Classics & Jazz) ★★★★✬ It's hard to believe all sounds on this recording were made b y the human voice or body, yet that is indeed the case. A range of sounds usually created by instrument or electronics is skilfully created by the vocalists on this mellow album consisting of covers of hit songs by Sting, the Bee Gees, Billy Joel, Abba and Cold Chisel, together with some more recent works and one 19th-century piece, Heidenröslein by Heinrich Werner. Take the cheerful rendition of Sting's _Fields of Gold,_ with Japanese guest vocal percussionist Kaichiro Kitamura. After a solemn, wordless introduction, the melody bursts into full forward motion, gently pushed along with what sounds like instrument accompaniment, but it's actually Kitamura. Even more inspiring are the "drum kit" sounds in the expressing arrangement of _Too Much Heaven_. This is the 12th album from this group, which originated from the simple idea of presenting a concert of laid-back ballads in St Peter's Cathedral in Adelaide. The concert was so successful they have since taken it across the country and overseas. _A Country Mile_ by alto Naomi Crellin is mournful and atmospheric, and the ABBA classic _When All Is Said And Done_ is earnest and uplifting. The ebb and flow of the second Sting song on this album, _The Pirate's Bride_, is well managed with its polyphonic lines and Nick Begbie's use of unembellished voice sounds remarkably like Sting himself at times, and expresses the resigned theme of the song - the tide rolls out, the tide rolls in, without a care for the ways of men - well. Billy Joel's _Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)_ crowns this album with a breathtakingly beautiful and simple four-part vocal introduction, followed by verses sung by Begbie and Sally Cameron.- Meldi Arkinstall, The Weekend Australian