Czech Republic - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 7 - 05/22/97
It is really frustrating listening to this CD. While all three
principals of this project are proving they are capable of extraordinary
work, Missariel is basically about nothing.
Vocalist Lucie Bila, composer Ondrej Soukup and lyricist Gabriela
Osvaldova produced ten songs, roughly inspired by the Eurythmics. While
Lucie's amazing voice has the power and the passion of Annie Lennox and
the slick cover photo imitates the gender blur Eurythmics were also
exploring, the resemblance is purely superficial. Most cuts lack focus -
melodies wander aimlessly, lyrics often alternate between several
languages and the singing in almost every cut swings from thin baby talk
to raspy screaming for no clear emotional reason.
Yet there is hope. Foremost, it's Lucie Bila's vocal ability. She's
in possession of an extraordinary instrument, even if on this album it
gets mostly abused. For instance in Pernikova chaloupka
(Gingerbread House) she sustains a forceful commanding vocal performance
that unfortunately delivers meaningless lyrics. In Requiem the
meandering melody is forcing her to deliver the potentially strong
lyrics in a very difficult (and vocal-chord damaging) slow vibrato
that's wasted by being over the top of her vocal range.
Only in Tango v opere (Tango In The Opera) and especially
Laska je laska (Love Is Love) the composer, the lyricist and the
performer come together. In the first instance, a skewed tango
accompanied by ariatic singing apologizes to a classical composer for
misusing the opera house. In the later cut, Bila and her fellow singer
Illona Czakova rap about celebration of love - love between guys and
girls as well as between guys or between girls...
Since Lucie Bila deserves the honors of being the top Czech female
vocalist, you certainly should 'czech' out this album, even if
Missariel contains mostly misses.
Copyright © 1997 Ivan Sever