Vuz se Senem

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The follow-up to 1997's beautiful Ctvrtek, Vuz Se Senem (Hay Cart) is less inspired. It sounds more mainstream, mainly because the group favors fooling around instead of emotion. Singer Zdenek Novák often adopts a Tom Waits pastiche voice. For example, "Klobouk" begins with a delicate piano theme and soft vocals but, when the band joins in, Novák starts pushing his voice in a vaudevillian way that cannot help but feel out of place. That said, pianist Petr Komár Soudek delivered an interesting batch of songs, lighter and more playful overall, but kept the arrangements simpler and less involving than before. The arrival of MCH Band bassist Martin Schneider adds some meat to the lower register and guest René Parez' guitar embellishments on half of the tracks are a welcome addition. Once again, listeners are treated to a song in French, the funny "La Vie." For "Cas Se Smeje," the group turns into a bop outfit, a trick well done. Some songs stick out, like the closing title track and "Vor" but, by pushing the piano into a romantic role and turning Novák in an exaggerated tragicomic figure, Cinna lost some of its subtleties.

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