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flag Czech Republic - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 7 - 05/22/97

Lucie Bila

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 e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Lucie Bila article/review: Hvezdy jako hvezdy.

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