This album uses complex drums and crunchy
guitar to really push the rhythmic envelope, and contrasts them with female vocals
that are lovely and harmonic.
This music reverberated in my mind for days after the first
hearing. It's a mixture of melody and rhythms that are very complex, but they
stay with you.
It took me a while to figure out this music, but I absolutely love
it. Some parts of it you can never understand-Vietnamese words intermixed with
English, angsty dissonance, and very spare guitar. But you don't need to understand
it. Just plug in.
I first heard these musicians on KFJC
in their previous incarnation, and the new CD is fantastic. It has the same edgy
guitar, but has added a wonderful touch with Martha's and Ngoc's vocals. Purple
Haze is going to be the song that gets airplay, and rightly so, but the longer
songs pack the most punch. The first song, Dream of the Black Horse, starts
out with jungle rhythms, then breaks into traditional Vietnamese instrumentation
before going back into hard-driving drums. All the while the vocals float along
like mist. The last song, Fate, uses the band's usual weird rhythms and
heavy bass under a featherlight vocal with wonderful lyrics. And the real jewel
in this album is Song to a Sparrow, which I have played 10 times in a row
and still want to hear it again.
Like no other
record you'll buy this year
Glen Johnson from
...this is a whole album's worth of music.
Intricately developed ideas for original music and a fun cover of Purple Haze
(I didn't know we were allowed to change time sign[a]tures on Hendrix tunes, but
if weren't before we defin[i]tely are now). Verdun challenged me to explore unfamiliar
sounds but never got convaluted on me. Beautiful vocals, driving drums and guitar.
Quality music in an age of redundancy.
A music fan from Union City, CA
a chance to listen to this cd from my husband. What a mix bag of emotions. great
guitar works merged with interesting Vietnamese traditional music which some how
Pinkerton from New York, NY
A great record to plug your
brain into. It just carries you along. I love Verdun's version of Purple Haze.
Jimi would have been proud. The whole CD is very solid and clever. Martha Roebuck's
vocals are just incredible, especially on Song to a Sparrow and Fate.
Andrew McIlrae from London, UK
This is really
a musician's CD. The saxophone, drums, and keyboards, especially, are just outstanding.
The guitarist mostly just waits, Miles Davis style, before playing a single chop
here and there. The crowning glory of the record, in my view, is the dan tranh
(koto), which has never appeared on any Western CD that I am aware of.
Verdun is brilliant
from Henrico, VA
Verdun is brilliant. You get the sense
these guys would rather die than do a song in anything like a normal way. I love
the Vietnamese touches, which ought to be completely out of place in a rock CD,
but somehow they fit perfectly. The feeling you get from the CD cover is exactly
how the music sounds: dark and forbidding, but innocent, too.
Interesting. Unique. Get off your Top 40 ablum, experience
creativity and hear where "real" music is going.
Verdun takes some figuring out, like all good music
does. It's a unique CD that is obviously trying to redefine what music ought to
be, and is succeeding. Great lyrics, great music.
is an amazing CD. Just completely original. My idea of heaven is to get in my
car and turn this CD up until the drums and bass rattle the mirrors. And the vocals
are just so serene and pretty. There's an element of quirky Talking Heads or Laurie
Anderson in here and a little bit of Weather Report or something jazzy, but mostly
it's not like anything else. I really like the way that western instruments--guitar,
hard drumming, sax, etc.--mix with the much lighter Asian instruments on "Dream
of the Black Horse" and "Fate." It is very cool. It helps to have
the lyrics in front of you at least one time--because you realize some of it is
not in English.
got goose bumps when I listened to "Dream of the Black Horse". You
the song totally, giving it a dreamy, mystic atmosphere. You
had painted a
layer of haze on a picture, allowing certain colors to show
while others become
subtle. Very beautiful.
Before playing "Stand By Your Man", I'd
expected another country-music
version. And when it played, I thought, "Aha,
this is not just a song.
It's a poem!"
Your songs, your lyrics,
are so poetic. "Song of the Sparrow" is an
example. I like how you
compare raindrops to tears of heaven. Yes, who
would have thought that heaven
also cries sad tears and happy tears. To me,
the lyric of "April"
is that of a beautiful haiku poem. Your lyrics are
short, but they bring to
mind many images and senses a body can feel.
Thank you for sharing your
wonderful creation with the world.