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REVIEW: Conchita Wurst & Wiener Symphoniker – From Vienna With Love

The last few days saw the release of Conchita Wurst’s second album, “From Vienna with Love.” Everything from award-winning songs and concerts to political engagements and LGBTIQ+ activism, the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest winner’s flame is yet to dwindle since she rose like a phoenix in Copenhagen. When the Austrian released her debut album in 2015, the theme is what I would call anthemic optimism. The sound? Let’s call it ‘considered pop’ which included a range of dance floor pleasers, power ballads and even swing. It is not lost on me that an artist that has come through Eurovision circles developed a sound that is purposefully far-reaching, with influences from across the European continent. The new album is a change of direction. Conchita has teamed up with the world famous Wiener Symphoniker to work on the project. The collaboration came about when they performed together at the Wiener Festwochen in 2017 and were inspired by that success. “From Vienna with Love” is a covers album. But this is no generic covers album. The song selection has been seemingly chosen to represent both the sensibilities of Conchita and the nature of orchestration. The album kicks off with “Writing’s on the Wall” and another of Conchita’s Bond Theme calling cards that will once again get the fans asking if it could really happen one day. We hear Conchita’s rendition of musical classic “The Sound of Music“, a reprisal of her performance from the Life Ball back in June. Interestingly, there are two covers of 90’s chart hits with Alanis Morissette’s “Uninvited” and Oleta Adams’ “Get Here“. Disney fans will be excited to hear “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas, although with lyrics such as “You think the only people who are people / Are the people who look and think like you”, it’s clear the song resonates with Conchita far beyond the music. Conchita has taken inspiration from two big divas with “Moonraker” (original by Shirley Bassey) and “All by Myself” (sung by Celine Dion, by way of Eric Carmen). And of course, we cannot forget a new extended recording of “Rise Like a Phoenix” in which we are reminded of the majesty of Conchita’s anthem. This is a vocal masterclass. If the eponymous first album drew from the sounds of Europe, then the second plants the Austrian’s feet firmly back home in Vienna. Classical musicians are always keen to reach a wider, younger audience, and Conchita’s sound is maturing as she does. The union is a harmonious one. There is a kind of poetry in the fusion of these two worlds, something Conchita has built a career on doing. Whether it’s gender-blending or bringing together political or cultural opposition, she understands the richness of two seemingly disparate parties engaging.
Highlights 
  • Get Here – The 1990 hit by Oleta Adams. What a song! Conchita delivers heart-breaking vulnerability.
  • Uninvited – The orchestral version of the well-covered pop classic is more faithful to the original by Alanis Morissette. The haunting vocals shifts Conchita into a realm of fantasy – a side of her seldom seen.  

What did others say?  From Vienna With Love reviewed by fellow ESCXTRA team members

Other editors in the ESCXTRA team listened and have given their opinion. Here is what they thought of Conchita and the Wiener Symphoniker collaboration.

Tim Jumawan

Where do I begin with “From Vienna with Love”? The songs in this album just shows how vocally versatile Conchita is. As far as album covers goes, Conchita has covered a variety of tracks and a variety of genres and singers. This album shows how Conchita makes the track her own and not try to be the original singer.
Highlights:
  • Writing’s on the WallConchita puts her own twist on the song. You can feel the emotions that the song is trying to show.
  • Rise Like a PhoenixDo I dare to say that I prefer this version than the one she competed in back in 2014? … Yes, with the additional time I think that she was able to arrange the song better and I like the additional lyrics that she has added in, which gives it a bit more oomf.
  • The Sound of MusicI’m a sucker for musicals so this had to be on the list. When I heard Conchita’s cover during the Life Ball, I immediately fell in love. It was the same when I heard the first note on the studio version and it is the one on repeat.

Dan Niazi

I’m not usually a fan of orchestra driven albums, but this is an undeniably fantastic offering from Conchita and Wiener Symphoniker. Conchita’s piercing vocals along with the sounds of a raw live band creates something very authentic which is adament throughout each track.
Highlights:
  • Colours of the Wind – A stunning composition with a fantastic chorus and beautiful message.   Things are kept subtle with not too much instrumentation but it works spectacularly.
  • All by Myself – This is a big song to take on but Conchita absolutely delivers, dare I say it, even more so than Celine.
  • Writing’s on the Wall – I’ll admit to hating the original of this but Conchita seems to fit this song so much better than Sam Smith. It follows a similar musical pattern as Rise Like A Phoenix and maybe that’s what has me sold.

Final Thoughts

Overall team score - 7.3

7.3

We often throw around the word 'anthemic' but with Conchita it has meaning. There is always an authentic thread running through her music. "From Vienna With Love" is a stunning continuation of growth and a strengthening of that thread. It shouldn't be lost on people that Conchita has chosen a selection of songs that have real heart and authenticity at the core. Afterall, it’s the characteristic of Conchita that catapulted her into stardom in the first place. "From Vienna with Love" is out worldwide now.

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User Rating: 3.79 ( 36 votes)
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Brigitte Datzreiter
Brigitte Datzreiter
2 years ago

It is so amazing for me! His voice is unbelievable! I love this CD! I love “ have I ever been in love” and “writings on the wall”

John Redpath
John Redpath
2 years ago

Just bought it and love it. Where Do I Begin and Rise Like A Phoenix. Excellent

Anneli Memedov
Anneli Memedov
2 years ago

An amazing album and what a voice! ❤❤❤ Hope for “Have I Ever Been In Love” as the forthcoming single!

Maria Martinez Moreno
Maria Martinez Moreno
2 years ago

Best album of recent decades, Conchita has a marvelous voice and a sensational stage presence! Congratulations Tom, you are wonderful and artist and be human! Your brazilian fan

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