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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Lebowski

Cinematic

Review by Gary Hill

This Polish outfit has created a disc that’s designed to feel like soundtrack music, hence the title. It pulls that off by creating a musical tapestry that hangs in the common ground between progressive rock, fusion and new age and still brings a few other things to the table. This isn’t a disc that’s likely to blow you away with its intensity – at least with a few short exceptions. However, it never fails to be entertaining. It’s more the kind of music you want around while doing something than the kind of thing you want to listen to intently. There aren’t really lyrics per se, but rather quotes from movies, spoken. Only the lyrics on the closer are in English.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Trip To Doha

This is a pretty astonishing piece that works through a lot of territory. It’s closer to classic progressive rock than it is to the modern version, but there is also a lot of fusion in the mix, along with some serious electronica. This is a great opener that really spans quite a bit of sound. The spoken lyrics are in Polish.

137 Sec.
Here they bring it in more atmospheric and there is quite a bit of world music in play on this number. It’s a powerful and pretty track and there are some soaring, non-lyrical female world inspired vocals present. The track soars out in a cinematic, fusion kind of way later. They take it through various changes and there are some great bits of instrumental interplay here. The vocals later, while still female and non-lyrical are more classical, movie soundtrack in nature than world-inspired.
Cinematic
There’s a killer rubbery groove as the backing of this and the keyboards and other instruments solo over in some awesome ways. There are spoken vocals on this piece. There’s also a tasty guitar solo that skates across the piece later. It drops back to a percussion based movement further down its musical road.
Old British Spy Movie
Classical sounding keyboards lead this off, then it moves out to a mellow and quite pretty progression that has a lot of classical music, but also some fusion, built into it. There are some great string elements laced over the top as the track continues. Some world music textures surface later, but only in a minor way. Different instruments take control at different points and it turns out in a rather rubbery jam later.
Iceland
Pretty balladic motifs with spoken words over top lead this and the cut grows in a direction that’s part progressive rock, part new age and part fusion. Then it turns to something closer to Pink Floyd meets fusion. This is more static than some of the other material, but it makes changes and alterations more in the way of flavors than actual movements.
Encore
A dramatic and powerful, but still sedate, motif begins this with more spoken words over the top. This grows out from there in a way that calls to mind both fusion and Pink Floyd. This is one of the coolest musical mélanges of the whole set. Somehow it just manages to create such wonderful moods. There’s a little French café interlude later in the number and we get some male and female dialog. This cut has some of the tastiest melodic guitar work of the whole set, too. There is also some energized fusion-like guitar.
Aperitif For Breakfast (O.M.R.J)
A mellow movement starts this, but the cut quickly works out into dramatic fusion-like sounds. It is one of the more dynamic pieces, taking the listener through a number of varying segments and transitions.
Spiritual Machine
Starting quite classical, this rises upwards as a screaming (but slow and melodic) guitar takes control. This one of the harder rocking and more pure fusion oriented numbers on show here, but there is still some mellower music to be found.
The Storyteller (Svensson)
A mellower fusion motif makes up this pretty cut and there is a cool fretless bass line in the background. Around the four minute mark it shifts out to an odd (but rather tasty) retro sounding organ solo. It bursts out from there in one of the most purely progressive rock oriented jams of the set. It’s a triumphant sounding powerhouse. It works out to a short fusion section that gives way to space to end it.
Human Error
The spoken lyrics on this cut are all in English and are words spoken by HAL, the computer for the 2001 and 2010 science fiction films. The music starts mellow and rather creepy, but eventually transitions up to some of the harder rocking and more purely progressive rock sounds of the set. There’s a smoking hot movement later in the piece with a retro organ sound and that movement calls to mind early Santana a bit. As it continues with a more fusion-like approach, the cut contains some of the most effective music on show here. At times this, again, feels rather like Pink Floyd, but with more of a jazz edge.
 
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