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Tea for Two: Twisted

Germany's Tea for Two is actually more like Tea for Three as the nucleus of this band is made up of a trio of core members Michael Schumpelt (keyboards, recorders and drums), Oliver Soerup (guitars) and vocalist Stephan Weber. The band's fourth CD since their inception in the late 80's is called Twisted which is an effective, eclectic blend of folk, jazz and progressive rock. The trio handles most of the instrumentation themselves, only enlisitng the help of guest bassists on several tracks. Schumpelt and Soerup actually began the group as a folk / jazz duo and you can hear how just how fantastic the two of them interact with each other right from the 2nd track, the instrumental "Soundscapes". This song begins with a contemplative, light piano introduction before really opening up and developing into a harder edged workout. Soerup flexes his chops on the electric guitar only briefly opting to let Schumpelt's piano and layered keyboards dominate the track. It's a great early example of tension and release to keep the listener alert and on their toes and it works perfectly. The duo both get a chance to showcase their compositional skills and musicianship on their own solo pieces as well, Schumpelt with a heartfelt, light jazz piano workout on "Last Drink" and Soerup on the all too brief acoustic track "Why?" Other highlights include the up tempo Jethro Tull like romp on "Scar Folk" and the majestic seven minute final number "Come What May" with it's electrifying solo sections on guitar and keyboards respectively. Unfortunately if there is one weak link in Tea for Two it would have to be the vocals of Weber which come across as rather cold and devoid of the same warmth and passion that is displayed in the music. At times it makes for a rather odd mix and I found myself preferring to hear the longer instrumental passages for some relief. In spite of this I'd have to say overall Twisted is still a very entertaining album and worth looking into.

Track Listing
1) Spanish Night
2) Soundscapes
3) Out in the Sun
4) Last Drink
5) Autumn
6) Hold On
7) My Own Way
8) Scar Folk
9) Why?
10) Come What May

Added: March 7th 2007
Reviewer: Ryan Sparks
Related Link: Official Website
Hits: 2019
Language: english

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