Prosti Menia Moia Lubov' (Forgive Me, My Love)

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Prosti Menia Moia Lubov' features 12 more tracks of original and gushing Zemfira. Zemfira composed the songs for this second album and for her debut during the same period of time -- some of them were collected for the first album and the rest were put aside for a while. That is probably why this disc (released one year after Zemfira) creates an impression of being the debut's bonus, which in this case only works to its advantage -- though the sound is not perfect, it does not hinder Zemfira from presenting the listener with a pair of hits and showing the ideas she had been incubating for years. She again resorts to different musical languages -- from tender ballad ("Hochesh?" [Do You Want?], "Sigarety" [Cigarettes]) to grunge (the refrain in "Iskala" [Been Searching]) -- and embroiders the sound of her band with slide guitar, piano, strings, brass, saxophone, and electronic interludes, though some songs have the feeling of being recorded in the mid-'80s ("Sozrela" [Has Mellowed], "Gorod" [City]). Zemfira has no fear of singing in quite an empty musical space, accompanied only by an unostentatious rhythm section. The album abounds with never-ending refrains, complicated harmonies, shifts of tonalities ("Gorod" [City]), and instrumental figures that dwell in the memory at least as securely as some catchy refrains (e.g., in the last three tracks the guitar line is actually part of the verse or refrain). Zemfira also demonstrates her valuable ability to arrange two or three notes in quite advantageous positions, thus creating simple but memorable tunes (the refrain in "Rassvety" [Dawns]). However, the songs that seemed to receive the most warm recognition from the public have quite simple harmonies and structures -- "Prosti Menia Moia Lubov'" (Forgive Me, My Love), "Iskala" (Been Searching). Though non-Russian-speaking listeners will not fully comprehend Zemfira's ingenious lyrics -- a feature that happily is maintained throughout Prosti Menia Moia Lubov' -- the album nevertheless will present them with sincere musical ideas and vocal originality.

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