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Album Review

Cinematic Orchestra, The – “To Believe” – [Ninja Tune]

Medusa of Troy   11/20/2019   A Library, CD

“To Believe” is Cinematic Orchestra’s 5th album and was released 12 years after its 4th one, “Ma Fleur”. The British electro-acoustic jazz ensemble sounds a bit different on this release than their early albums. It sounds less like traditional jazz rhythms, softer and mellower in a higher register of strings. Of the 7 tracks on the album, two are instrumentals, the rest sung by a range of guest performers. Layers of strings and piano and drum start light but build into sweet, cathartic crescendos. The concept for the album is ‘belief in the age of Brexit’ but the specifics of what or who to believe in are not enumerated – “To Believe” seems more about the act versus the object of believing. “Little” is a stand-out instrumental from the album, with an incessant, infectious drum beat from beginning to end. A return to form by masters of nu-jazz.

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