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Sasha Papernik

Victory

Review by G. W. Hill

I have to say right away that I have fallen in love with this album. It’s likely to make my list of best of 2013. Yes, I think it’s that good Papernik’s vocals are awesome, but the music really sells this. Not everything here fits as progressive rock, but most of it does in one way or another. All in all, this is just a great disc. Don’t waste time. This is melodic music and it’s great. Get it!

Track by Track Review
Victory

The rhythm section leads the title track (and album) out. The song has a bit of bluesy, country sound to it. Still, there is also a world music vibe. The vocals are purely awesome and the passionate and innovative mix of sounds works very well. The symphonic elements over the top add a lot. All in all, this is one of the best cuts here and has some great prog instrumental movements built into it. I just love this. Then again, I love this album.

Kiss Me Fast
Starting on piano (and in fact that’s the main instrument at first here) this reminds me a bit of Tori Amos at times. It gets into an old jazz sound as it continues, too. When the second verse enters the mix gets more instrumentation and the song continues evolving. More progressive rock elements appear as this continues and it really rocks out later.
Oy Moroz, Moroz

This starts off with a bluesy jam that’s got some cool retro textures. It builds out from there in fine fashion. There’s some killer guitar soloing in this tune.

Solitude
Piano opens this and as the vocals join there is a real world music element to the piece. It grows gradually from there. The cut remains just piano and vocals and that world music vibe is even more prominent later.
Whispering Tree

As the piano keys are tickled at the start here, this calls to mind Tori Amos again, just a bit. From there, though, rock and world music merge into something that reminds me a bit of Renaissance. The arrangement gets lush, involved and powerful.

Tonkaya Ryabina

Although this one is well rooted in world music, that Renaissance vibe is quite present here. It’s a great example of how Renaissance like progressive rock can be worked into an almost purely world music arrangement.

Polina

This song makes me think of a more proggy version of Mazzy Star, perhaps mixed with some country and some Radiohead. That country sound comes mostly from some slide guitar. This really does make me think of Radiohead’s “Creep” from a melodic point of view at times. No matter the concept, though, I consider this one of the best tunes here.

Wrong Side of Twenty-Five

Piano starts this off and there’s sort of a classic vibe to the rhythm. This is another awesome piece of music. It’s one of the most accessible and another that’s among my favorites here.

Luchina

There is almost a Camper Van Beethoven feeling to this cut. It has a slow, world music kind of sound.

Wildwood Flower

Now, here we have a song that’s basically folk rock. Of course, I’ll stand by the prog label because there is a whole field of progressive rock that’s rooted in folk. So, there’s nothing all that unusual here. This definitely includes some down home country musical references.

Peter's Letters

A slow moving and dreamy cut, piano drives it. There is definitely a bit of a jazz air to this. It is such a pretty and unusual track. This is quite cool as it builds out. The piano continues to be the driving factor. Later parts again make me think of Radiohead a bit.

Take It as It Comes

There’s a soulful rock vibe to this. It grows out as it continues and this one, without the other stuff here, wouldn’t land this in the prog section. It would still land it in the “great” section, though. There’s a real classic rock feeling to it.

Tall Grass

This is a powerful piece that has more of that proggy Mazzy Star vibe.

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