The Bulgarian Voices

Les Voix Bulgares: Chants de Noël

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Listeners who pick up this album thinking it's a performance by the singers of Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares will be sorely disappointed because this is a different group, with a significantly different sound and level of skill. (The fine print on the back of the album notes that Les Voix Bulgares is "like" Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, but that assertion would probably qualify as false testimony in a court of law.) Where the sound of the singers on Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares albums was startlingly fresh and astringently tart, the sound here is merely sour. The album includes mediocre to execrable arrangements of traditional western carols like "Silent Night" and "Jingle Bells," sung on la-la-la syllables, apparently so the singers wouldn't have to learn the English versions. There are equally abysmal arrangements of Eastern European repertoire. The women's chorus is accompanied by Zairian vocalist Ray Lema, percussionist Stoyan Yanculov, and on keyboards, Ludmila Dimova, who also directs the group and is responsible for the arrangements. This album deserves to be on everyone's "MUST AVOID" list.

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