Philharmonic or Die

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For their first live album, Japanese boy band Quruli enlisted the aid of the Vienna Ambassador Orchestra for a mix of pop and philharmonic orchestral backing. The result is a restrained one, with the tempo rarely reaching high enough to stretch any of the vocalists past a comfortable lope. Though Quruli specializes in ballads anyway, the songs presented on Philharmonic or Die are nearly all within the realm of the sleepy, drowsy, and lackluster. Though Quruli has a strong fanbase built over the years, it's hard to imagine fans getting too worked up over this set. Though there are tiny hints of something new sprinkled here and there (a long guitar solo in one track, a tinkling Celtic mood in another), the vocals inevitably return to a long, slow, flat delivery that fails to serve either the compositions or the orchestral arrangements. There's just no energy here, so pass this one up.