Combining sophistication and nostalgia, City String Ensemble has just released a collection of classically infused reimaginations of your favorite millennial hits. Throwback…to the Millennium is a 6-song EP that features some of the most iconic songs of the late 90s and early aughts in a style that begs to be placed in an upcoming season of Bridgerton.
The harmonic singing of strings launch you into the first cover, a lively rendition of “American Boy” originally by Estelle featuring Kanye West. With quick movements, the quartet effortlessly captures the upbeat and mysterious spirit of the original with driving rhythms and a textured violin melody. “Virtual Insanity” by Jamiroquai is the next track, featuring syncopated bass and cello undertones and a versatile violin melody that fluctuates between high, soaring notes and lower voicings that toe the line between classical violin stylings and fiddle sounds.
Up next is their version of The Darkness’ “I Believe in a Thing Called Love”, a track that captures all of the best rock elements of the original while not overly exerting themselves to do it. The result is an energetic, bright orchestration that captures the optimism of the original with impressive riffs and perfectly interweaving harmonies while maintaining a light, flowing feel. “Genie in a Bottle” is next, a composition that almost improves upon the song with its arrangement that interweaves complicated layers to create unexpected depth and intrigue. Originally released by Christina Aguilera, this track showcases the quartet’s versatility utilizing techniques such as pizzicato, or plucking the strings, to create exciting, rhythmic surprises in the dynamic piece.
Amy Winehouse’s “Tears Dry on Their Own” is next, an arrangement that fully captures the soulful style and attitude of the original through the ensemble’s unique translation. The final song is their rendition of “Say You’ll Be There” by the Spice Girls. The perfect bookend to complete the EP, this song will have you ever-so-politely dancing with upbeat underlying rhythms and dynamically shifting movement that showcases each instrument in its element.
Based in London in the United Kingdom, City String Ensemble is comprised of classically trained musicians who are making classical music accessible and fun for all audiences. With their incredible, timeless skills and ability to create exciting compositions that will appeal to the millennial in all of us, Throwback…to the Millennium is a vibrant collection that will make you fall in love with these throwback songs in a brand-new way.
Written by Katrina Charles