Sinii Albom [The Blue Album]

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The Blue Album is an outclassing effort of all what came before it in Russian rock music. Odds and ends of different music styles and sources are combined to create a cut-off of a living soul in the hot pursuit of romances, friends, music, religion, a whole life itself. There's a youthful aggressiveness to the singing and playing here alternated with composed voice and guitar delivery. One can notice Bob Dylan's raspy blues in the "Railway Water" or Eddy Grant's cheerful reggae in the "Rutman [Rootman]" and "Reka [River]," moreover "V Podobnuyu Noch [On a Night Like This]" is written after Dylan's song of the same name but the album extends much further. "Zheleznodorozhnaya Voda [Railway Water]," "Geroi Rok-n-Rolla (Molodaya Shpana) [Rock'n'Roll Heroes (Young Push)]," "Elektricheskii Pyos [Electric Dog]," and "Vsyo Chto Ya Khochu [All What I Want]" have powerful lyrics expressing the thoughts and passions of a whole generation: "I'm tired of being an ambassador of rock 'n' roll in the non-rhythmic country," "We have grown in the field of such high voltage where any device is to be burned at once." Rich, imaginative, unplugged guitar underscores fire roaring in Boris Grebenshikov's words. On the other side the "Gost [Guest]," "Chai [Tea]," "V Podobnuyu Noch [On a Night Like This]" are calm ballads with a touch of irony and that's just another angle to enjoy the harmony of the universe and look at the place of a single musician, family, and company of friends in the plan of God or whoever rules the world. Both approaches join together in the psychedelic "Ploskost [Plane]." With absurd lyrics and a monotonous tune having a slight sense of the Velvet Underground, the song sounds great and brutally frank: "We were standing on the plane with a varying angle of incidence. We were watching the law to set landscapes in motion. We were repeating words with no meaning at all. And there was no strain." You know, some talented young people feel like gods now and then, so there's no surprise Blue Album is deeply imbued with strength, volition, and freedom, making it one of the best efforts in Russian rock of the early '80s.

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