Review - The Romanovs "... and the Moon Was Hungry..."
Dark and Lovely, The Romanovs
There is music like this out there... and yet there isn't. The music out there like this is either similar, but not that good, or good, but not that similar to this. What we have here is a horse of a different color. A magical, lovely, dark horse of a different color.
On first listen you might think the voice of Morgan Kibby (the lead vocalist) is not unlike in sound and essence to Tori Amos or Fiona Apple or Natalie Merchant. But, then again, no. Her voice is much sweeter, and has the quality and urgency of a classical crossover artist, similar to Sarah Brightman. And yet there's a wonderfully beautiful and poetic vulgarity to it, that one has to hear to understand or appreciate. Okay, not actually vulgar, but definitely naughty.
And if you think you might have heard her voice before, then you might be right. Her voice can be heard on the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire movie trailer, and also the trailer for M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water.
The sound that manages to comes out of these mere five people, Ana Lenchantin (Cello), Dan Rosa (Piano), Wesley Precourt (Violin), Randy Cooke (Percussion), and of course, Morgan Kibby, is nothing short of amazing. It's somehow a massive sound that tosses you around like an ocean playing with a ship lost at sea, soft and serene one moment, and rough and choppy the next. But in any case, you are as tiny as the waves of sound are vast.
There are bands out there that sound like this, but they can only do the "cabaret" thing, or the "dark cabaret" thing, or the "classical crossover" thing, and don't dare venture out too far into pop or rock or electronica, and especially not venture too far into any gothic rock or industrial music, for fear of losing their oldtimey "shtick". And that's because it's all they have to stand out from the crowd. And because of this it is very difficult to try to label The Romanovs as any one thing, because they're a bit of everything I just mentioned.
Listening to the album is the equivalent of watching an aristocratic young woman, perfectly molded like a finely crafted china doll, her gestures and smooth cadence never betraying her class and prestige, but all the while smoking a cigarette and drinking a glass of bourbon, punctuating her stories with an f-word here and there, or some other such word or phrase, and doing so in the most intelligent, articulate and delicate way a young aristocrat could do.
It's quite an interesting, entertaining and enjoyable juxtaposition.
Artists similar to The Romanovs (according to last.fm): Jonna Enckell, Hannah Fury, Harlequin Jones, Jill Tracy, Amoree Lovell, The Clockwork Dolls, Emilie Autumn, Birdeatsbaby, Pretty Balanced, and Katzenjammer Kabarett.