Jaromír 99 & the Bombers

Jaromír 99 & The Bombers

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Some people refuse to listen to music that is in any language they don't speak fluently; if they can't understand the lyrics, they aren't interested. Period. But in fact, there is something to be said for listening to singers who are performing in a language one doesn't understand at all. When a listener isn't understanding any of the lyrics that are coming out of a singer's mouth and doesn't have a translation handy, the only things he/she really has to go on are the emotion and feeling of the performance -- and there is a great deal of emotion and feeling coming from Czech singer Jaromír Svejdík on this 38-minute CD. Svejdík has recorded as both a solo artist and as the leader of the band Jaromír 99 & the Bombers; in this group setting, he favors an appealing mixture of folk-rock and alternative rock. All of the lyrics are in Czech, and even if one doesn't understand a word of that East European language, is it clear that Svejdík has a striking sense of melody. But the melodies on this album are not cheerful, and tracks like "Láska," "Black Hole" (which is in Czech despite having an English-language title), "Alenka," and "Jedy a Protijedy" are definitely on the moody side. In fact, some of Svejdík's performances are so moody that he would probably make an excellent goth rock singer if he wanted to move in that direction. But this self-titled 2007 release is not goth, and the folk element is a big part of what makes Jaromír 99 & the Bombers tick. This is a memorable effort that leaves listeners with a very favorable impression of Svejdík's skills as a vocalist.

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