2021 / Sony Masterworks
Review by Kathy Parsons
Dedicated celebrates the tenth anniversary of 2Cellos, the Croatian duo of Luka Šulić and Hauser. Many other cellists have taken the instrument out of its classical bounds, but I'm not sure anyone has gone to such rock extremes as these guys. Classically-trained masters of their instrument, they have made the cello exciting and dynamic as well as bringing out the soulful, voice-like beauty it is so well loved for. It doesn't hurt that both artists are good-looking and have a compelling stage presence, but it truly is their extraordinary musicianship that sends their music skyward. More often than I care to admit, I've stumbled on one of their videos and kept looking for more - they are a very happy habit! 2Cellos will be embarking what they say will be their last tour as 2Cellos in March 2022, so this might also be their last album together. It will be interesting to see what they do as solo artists!
A few of the tracks on Dedicated are slow ballads, but for the most part, this album really rocks. The album begins with "Wherever I Go" (OneRepublic), a song that alternates between a ballad and a rocker. Billie Eilish's "bad guy" is light and fun with a driving beat and a playful attitude - a favorite! Guns N' Roses' classic "Sweet Child O Mine" begins with a little Bach intro that changes quickly to a hard-rockin' anthem. "Halo" by Beyonce is one of the slower ballads, and allows the cellos to really sing - hauntingly beautiful! "Shallow" is Lady Gaga's wonderful song from the most recent version of A Star is Born, and the human-voice quality of the cellos takes this one right to the heart. I love this arrangement! "Demons" (Imagine Dragons) overflows with heartfelt passion. "I Don't Care" (Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber) returns to a lighter, more playful style with a catchy beat. I really like this one, too! Aerosmith has never been known as a quiet band and their "Cryin'") pulls out all the stops. The song does have its quieter moments, but it really rocks in others! I would imagine there is a lot of horsehair (from the bows) on the floor when they play this one! Bon Jovi's "Livin' On a Prayer" is another intense rock classic and must be a blast to see played live! "Wow!" about sums it up! Simon and Garfunkel's classic "Sounds of Silence" is still one of my favorite songs ever, and 2Cellos' version is stunning! Slow, spare and deeply emotional, it's one of the most beautiful arrangements of the song I've heard. Be sure to check it out!
If you're in the mood for something different, I think there is something for just about everyone on 2Cellos' Dedicated. It is available pretty much everywhere, including Amazon, Apple Music/iTunes and Spotify. Rock on, guys!
November 7, 2021