The Tango Saloon ‘Suspicion’ (4 stars)
review by John Shand, The Sydney Morning Herald
The cover sets up expectations of the western variant of film noir and the music delivers. On this fourth Tango Saloon album Julian Curwin’s tongue lolls in and out of his composer’s cheek, so any line between pastiche and staggeringly imaginative music fades as fast as smoke from a gun barrel.
The original ingredients of tango and cowboy music still mingle, only with the latter now more dominant. The big change is that half the pieces are songs, with Elana Stone providing vocals that carry echoes of the casual detachment of a ’60s ingenue. Sometimes it seems a more knowing approach may have better served the songs than this Euro-pop blitheness, but Curwin loves to layer his musical elements; to create enigmas that disguise glimpses of humour in wisps of sadness.
As ever his own guitar playing nonchalantly explores the gamut of the instrument’s capabilities (but always in the service of his exceptional compositions), and the supporting cast includes a who’s who of Sydney’s finest creative musicians. They play the Django Bar on April 16.
Update: another great review appeared in The Brag last week, check it out.