A sort of cross between Sex and the City and the Kronos Quartet as they might be remixed by Paul Oakenfold (actually Orion and the Beatmasters do most of the producing), Bond is a string quartet of toothsome beauties at least as concerned with their hair and makeup as their playing whose work on Shine is heavily augmented with dance beats. It's a formula that sits them atop the classical crossover charts, up there with Sarah Brightman and Josh Groban, and why not? As with their peers, the music is only ersatz classical, containing classical tunes here and there mixed in with classical-sounding new compositions. And the elaborate dance programming makes the music highly, well, programmable. Leadoff track "Allegretto" was quickly tapped for an upscale television commercial, a mark of success in this market previously achieved by the likes of Moby. Here and there among the oddly familiar melodies are actually identifiable ones. "Strange Paradise" is a much modified version of the same theme from Borodin's "Polovetsian Dances" in his opera Prince Igor that became the show tune and pop hit "Stranger in Paradise" from the musical Kismet; "Kashmir" is the Led Zeppelin song; "Libertango" comes from Astor Piazzolla; the bonus track, "Bond on Bond," is, inevitably, Monty Norman's James Bond movie theme; and "Space" sounds like the theme from every movie ever set in a Middle Eastern desert (although here it sounds like it comes from a Middle Eastern disco). The CD booklet, full of fashion-style photography, outdoes anything from Britney Spears, and, of course, there's nary a musical instrument in sight. The music may be the least of it, but as marketing, Bond is hard to fault.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann