Ivo Cicvarek

V Letadle

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With V Letadle (A Plane), singer/songwriter Ivo Cicvarek delivered a rather radio-friendly collection of neo-folk songs. Playing piano and acoustic guitar, he is accompanied by Jana Havlová (cello) and Petra Klementová (flute), plus a number of guests who enrich the arrangements with touches of acoustic instruments. Cicvarek's strength does not lie in his melodies, rarely memorable by themselves, but in the way he dresses them up. There is something highly seductive in his art of scoring. He develops instrumental passages with symphonic flair, yet keeps things simple enough to convey the essence of folk music. In instrumental pieces like "Hugo Se Dívá na TV," one thinks of the early albums of Maneige or Gentle Giant -- the progressive rock connection also turns up in some of the daring song structures (like in the title track). Elsewhere it is the heritage of folksinger Vladimir Veit that surfaces ("Ryby v Hejnu"). Cicvarek's soft-spoken vocals adjust well to the moods, but they don't leave a strong imprint, and if the first time one comes out of the album charmed, pointing out highlights necessitates a few more spins -- because once you strip the wrapping off these songs, what remains can be very small. All lyrics are in Czech.

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