Someone’s been having your… ear

Воскресенье, 6 Январь 2013, 22:18
Размещено в рубрике English Special и имеет 0 комментариев.


A handful of Russia’s musicians bill world’s fests, fewer still watchdog their petty contracts in the West while pianist Matsuev and conductor Spivakov toil to help drive it home that Russia’s talent and pros are no more. As for Moscow’s English-published expat-run media, they look like competing for the Worst Ever Music Review In Print award. Vacationing in Malaysia, I took it up with a taxi driver as to whose plight is actually poorer and he would hardly see my point – just like this reader does at the moment. At wife’s birthday party (come visit Elizaveta Makrushina page in I was arguing with a friend of hers that our mentality is deliberately being ruined / confused to finally defy any communication, any ability at all. Outlanders of the West will be escaping their tornados and cramped homes for this new benevolent shelter, Russia. They will bring new good infrastructure along. Till then, I guess, bad music imports and non-listenable FM DJing will prevail. My utmost concern in those plans regards the fate and careers of the outcast pros, meself included. Shall we be granted a chance to move mountains – or will personalities like Loshak and Sobchak continue to pocket goodies, bank the taxpayer money? Should you out there be  packing bag to go Russia – do not dismiss the issue. Think tank and act wise. I can’t specify better, for certain reason… Oh, and have a happy new year!        


 New arrivals await your grab at Purpurny Legion Store, Novokuznetskaya ul, 1 in Moscow. All the reviewer copies are local presses of properly licensed expensive major label releases. These are far superior to the typical pavement and fleamarket sold lot where you come from – at that low prices! Some such releases are notable for special Russian design artwork or fully original booklets of clean print. Those are on sale in Russia only and therefore collectable when taken out to the world. Be guided by YelbTrib competent reviews (and the E / Oh Yeah scale gradings) before you buy.  Any use of reviews welcome.


ELO «Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra» Frontiers / Soyuz


Mr Lynne shall burn in hell for ditching his glory allies so – and pretending he and his family members are the ELO. However technically impeccable and dynamically liberated, the recently rehashed ELO classics only glorify the era – not Lynne’s special writing talents or instrumental prowess – as well as the original team effort. It’s the magic material that won’t be compromised or misrepresented.


KEITH EMERSON “Christmas Album” Edel/Soyuz


Even though rid of the slovenly Bonilla guitar (work dates 1988), the arguably world’s best intelligent keyboardist honors not his Nice / ELP career but goes down the synth chute. Credits and notes being no clue, the programming and dubs are as digital cold and DJish as modern-day Oldfield. These pollute all — the decent closing number’s sonics, the organ passages, the neo classic concept, the  choir.       


BLACK SABBATH “Iron Man: The Best of” Sanctuary / Universal Rus.


Black Sabbath exudes some weird warm sympathy leaving grave and devil worship to less musical bands. This remastered compilation does away with early analog compression but while clearing cymbals and things it loses mystery and power that was part of Ozzy and the company. “Paranoid”, “Changes”, “Bloody Sabbath” and to be sure “Sweet Leaf” all sound a tad technical hi-fi and not a bit hypnotic. Hawkwind is another such band whose work is better dated.      


ADRIANIO CELENTANO “Azzurro/Una Carezza In Un Pugno 1968, 1995 Clan / 2012 Universal Rus.


Celentano’s is sheer luck the way he overtook a host of Italian crooner talent and grew to command attention in both studio and cinema. On this early album he warrants at least a nostalgia, acting out a merry guitar-strumming heart-breaking drunkard or something. “Buonacera Signorina” was another world hit doing better in East Europe and subsequently enjoying a ska version by They Must Be Giants… so far I recall. The booklet is complete with original lyrics – what for? 


ADRIANIO CELENTANO “Esco di rado e parlo ancora meno” 2000 Clan / 2012 Universal Rus.


Hailed as ingenious achievement and rounding up who-is-who in Italian pop industry for support, the multi platinum and bla-bla album of the aging star yielded nothing… not a single tune or memorable arrangement worth mention. That said, there are good number of leaks and patterns to capture an indiscrete attention. Digital compression when editing/mixing is another indicator of our times. A car audio fodder of much ado.


GAROU “Rhythm and Blues” Sanctuary / Universal Rus.


The Notre Dame production star of Canadian (?) appeal and career boarders on Tom Jones impersonator camp (together with Russian ill-fated sick-advised and mishandled Serov). And not for nothing. Garou videos are fantastic in exposing his stage presence and masculine 70s’ enigma that once landed knickers and suite keys onstage in Vegas. This time around he tramples Joe Cocker / Stax territory securing the services of a likely studio and sessionmen up in London. He takes up trite standards (country western included)  of possibly lower royalties but makes the most of those. He roars and groans in good English and French. But Jones’ heritage stays outa reach.


GAMMA RAY  "Live — Skeletons & Majesties" 2CD  Edel / Soyuz


Whenever the mike is turned over to other band members or guests – the improved Helloween formula dwindles down to Scorpions primitivism. Live, Kai Hansen’s assured virile vocals astound like no studio album would, there are only few samples and keyboards allowing guitarist Dirk Schlachter to shine on “Send Me A Sign” and on a string of Disk 2 slow burners. Extra-terrestrial theme unwinds on “Rise”, “Money”, “Anywhere In the Galaxy” rockers. «Rebellion In Dreamland», “Dreamland” and 11- minute “karaoke” sing-along on Disk 2 do betray band’s German origin. Good hold of the band that stands second to none. They handle classical quotes on “Future World” finisher number. This review was rejected by the band’s site robot guard, and – from the bandmembers’ mugs on inlay – they f@@@ing need none for living.  


KEITH EMERSON, Marc Bonilla and Terje Mikkelsen with The Munich Radio
Orchestra “Three Fates”
2CD  Edel / Soyuz


Too much digital fumbling and wrong move to bring in the Tesla band’s dull drummer — makes this effort insipid, inferior to symphonic rock acts of the past years — and actually recalls typical recordings of Telarc. Bonilla is predictable and behaved, checked by the orchestral conductor. Despite overall diligence in revising ELP classics like “Tarkus” and “Fanfare for the Common Man”, there is not much Emerson’s championing Stravinsky flamboyance on the plain. Pieces are sparse uneventful and controlled. Strictly for fusion and crossover aficionado. 


AMY WINEHOUSE “At the BBC” CD+DVD Island / Universal Rus.


Like the case with most BBC appearances by major rock performers, this one is so immediate and honest it wins in presenting a compilation as a non-stop one-point live event (presumably, indeed so on video). Jools Holland dates and more 2004 material is duly featured comprising her lowest point, her highest culminating at club venues, while the most credit goes to the dedicated horn section (ex-Tower of Power?). Her uninhibited delivery and rude “nigger” verse compel. Modern rock’s heyday and mayhem she was.

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