Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Close your eyes,what will be will be

Of all the Fabrikants in series 6 of Fabrika Zvezd,Aleksei Hvorostyan is probably one you'd remember least.He left quite early on,and- from what I saw on Po Domam- he was pretty quiet.Anyway,he released his debut album last year- called Padali No Padnimalis.It's very undeserving of the bad reviews I've read of it,because although I can see why it's not to everyone's taste (I don't think it's your typical reality TV star's album),it is very good.Having not seen any of his performances on FZ,I'm not really sure what sort of music I expected from Aleksei,but PNP definitely exceeds expectation.It's high tempo,guitarfull (new word) rock.Sometimes on the pop rock side,sometimes a little bit heavier,but never the kind of moany,self indulgent stuff that's all too common these days.Well,that's what I can gather from the bits I've translated anyway.

The first track is also called Padali No Padnimalis (written by Viktor Drobysh no less).I can't think of a concise way of translating this,but think Chumbawumba "I get knocked down but I get up again" and you're nearly there :) It sets the pace for the rest of the album really- it's fast,punchy and has a great beat to it.Oh,and it's catchy too.With a name like I Get Knocked Down But I Get Up Again (or whatever),it's quite a suitable song for Perviy Kanal's Celebrity boxing programme King of the Ring...

I don't like that video,but it was either that or him duetting with Anastasia Prohodka.And I don't like her.

Track 2 Bitiymi Trevogami (Sound the Alarm) is probably my favourite (that's where the post title comes from).So it's quite annoying that I can't find a video or anything of it.But again,it's fast,it's funky and has some great guitars in it.I could imagine Dima Koldun singing it actually,so it must be good :) Same goes for the next track Ot Posteli Do Posteli really,another good pop-rock song.

After that comes Solnce- Nebo Moyo,which is still rocky,but has an almost disco-like intro and chorus.There's even a bit of vocoder action going on at one point too.Very Krazy Mess Groovers!Here it is,inexplicably combined with footage from Harry Potter.

Halfway through,and V Kapkane Palcev and Povyer (Believe) are the only songs on the album that I don't really like.VKP is a bit too whiny for me,and Povyer- although it's not bad- shows that sometimes Russian has too many syllables to fit in a song and sound nice at the same time :)

The second half is far more moody sounding than the first.It's the heavier kind of rock that I was talking about before,and songs like Levniy Positiv and Padshiy Angel (Fallen Angel) are songs that I could definitely see on music channels like Kerrang if they were in English.Padshiy Angel is quite reminiscent of HIM actually now I think about it.

After all that,Ya Sluzhu Rossii (I serve Russia) seems a strange choice of song to put at the end,especially being a song about the army and everything.Anyway,here's Aleksei singing it at the Zolotoy Gramofon awards last year.

Like I said,Padali No Padnimalis isn't your typical reality TV star's album,but then again,that was one of the great things about Fabrika Zvezd.I miss it already!

Monday, 28 July 2008

Don't play these funny games with me

Since when did my man of the moment,Aleksei Vorobyov change his New Russian Kalinka?We liked the "there's more to Russian music than old folk songs" approach,but now it's all changed and is about some woman.Here's the lovely video that goes with it.The last half a minute is cheesier than very mature Parmeggiano Reggiano,but it's Aleksei,so who cares?It's almost more than a girl can take on a Monday afternoon.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Viva la diva!

So it's all hotting up in Jurmala.I have no idea how New Wave works,but it looks like Georgia- the group from,erm,Georgia- are in the lead (?).Anyway,everyone's favourite Russian diva was on hand too,to entertain the crowd with his version of a certain Israeli Eurovision classic.Here he is doing quite a subdued version,proving he can cope with a key change like the best of them.

Friday, 25 July 2008


Someone force this man to marry me

He could even bring his cat with him

And his teddy bear collection

Oh alright then

I'd even put up with the accordion

But I draw the line at the England shirt

There,that's much better

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

And we will sail away...

I must direct you to Tales from Turku,where Keira has found what I've decided is one of my favourite videos ever!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

New Wave starts tomorrow!

Oh yes,tomorrow sees the start of the annual Latvian musical extravaganza that is New Wave.New Wave is of course the competition that launched the careers of Tina Karol,Smash! ("a duet of young stylish guys" according to the website) and Dima Bilan.As well as featuring competing singers from all over Europe,the festival also sees some great (international and Russian) star guests every year- Stevie Wonder was there last year,Lara Fabian the year before...Russian overlord Filip Kirkorov has made his fair share of appearances over the years too,and there's even been British talent there too in the form of erm...Chris de Burgh and Craig David :/

Anyway,this year,there's 17 participants from various different countries.Of course there's plenty from the ex-USSR but there's plenty of others too.Although I haven't heard any music from any of them yet,I've read all their biographies.On this basis,my favourites are Simon from Germany,who likes French and Russian films,doesn't dance and "spends his free time doing nothing".My kind of guy :) I also like Don,who "dreams of getting a cake with Zhanna Friske coming out of it",dreamt as a child of becoming the first Latvian in space,and who "gets frightened when someone comes up to him quietly and says "Booo!" from behind his back" Aww. Also,you've gotta love Vladi from Israel who may or may not be basing his image on Dima Bilan circa 2003.He's a stylist,"helping rich and influential people of Israel look good." Stellar!

Apparantly you can see coverage of New Wave from tomorrow on RTR Planeta,but I have no idea what time.(I checked the listings and couldn't see anything :/ ) Cool beans...

Starting up again would be nothing but insane

I must say,as far as The Ark's albums go,I don't think Prayer For the Weekend is one of their best.But it does have a few bits of brilliance on it such as this- All I Want Is You...

As depressing as the subject matter is (nothing new for The Ark there),I love the way it's such a lively,optimistic song.It makes me happy every time I hear it which is why I'm posting it :)

Sunday, 20 July 2008

This will make you stronger

Last night I couldn't sleep,so thought what better thing to do than put the old ipod on.So after listening to the Work Your Magic remix about 8 times and Plan B about 12,I came across this song that I haven't heard for a really long time.By Margaret Berger,the runner up in the second series of Norwegian Idol (she lost out to Kjartan Salvesen),Samantha is a discotastic masterpiece.It's from her second album Pretty Scary Silver Fairy which was released all the way back in 2006.Apparantly she's working on the third album now due to be released next year.According to Wikipedia,it "will have a raw sort of dance vibe to it".Ooh.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Reci, se boš kdaj vrnila?

I'm in such an Anžej Dežan mood today.I accidentally came across the translation for Plan B (long story) and I think that's what set it off.So what's he been up to lately apart from advertising Dormeo mattresses?I bet you've been asking yourself day and night since May 2006.Well,unfortunately Slovenian showbiz news is pretty hard to come by,but from what I can gather,he performed last week at Pivo Cvejte which I am assured is "the most visited and entertaining event in Slovenia",which is pretty cool.He's also involved in a TV show called NLP (isn't that Slovenian for UFO?),but possibly most exciting of all is his participation in the reality TV show Zvezde Pojejo.In this programme he did what I've been wanting him to do for a while,a cover of Molitva.How fabulous!Just a shame about Ana Dolinar really.Anžej really does have one of the best voices in Europe,but I don't think I could say the same about her :) They also did You Can Leave Your Hat On Draw your own conclusions :) I'm not sure how well they did in the competition,but I'm guessing not too well,seeing as these were the only 2 videos I could find...

Anyway,here he is doing what we love him doing best- thrashing around in his cape like a camp pirate :)

Oh,and it's nice to see Vroče makes Anžej as happy as it does me and Keira.Of course I have no idea what he's saying in this video but I know I want a friend just like him!

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Ich brauch dich nicht zum glücklich sein

Just a quick post to say I haven't disappeared- Actually I hadn't realised I hadn't posted for nearly 2 weeks.Then again I have been busy in Germany (which you will soon be able to read about over at Parlez-vous Europop?) and erm,dealing with a few other things shall we say.

When I was in Germany,I finally got round to buying Revolverheld's second album Chaostheorie.It's the re-released edition with Helden 2008 and Heimspiel on it.I haven't actually got round to listening to it yet,but I've certainly been enjoying the DVD of all their videos that came with it.In the past 3 years or so,I've been through a few phases of obsessing over the lovely boys from Hamburg (Johannes especially),and I think I might be about to do it all over again.Now I'm not normally a fan of German rock,or rock in general for that matter,but I think Revolverheld are a bit special.Maybe it's because the music sometimes verges more on the pop-rock side of things,and because the lyrics can be so meaningful yet not over the top,and because Johannes just has a great voice that's always full of emotion without being whiny like so many other singers these days.

Anyway,the first song of theirs I ever heard was Die Welt Steht Still ,which I still think is their best single to date.The chorus is so dramatic and contains very good use of strings :) I always wondered what the video had to do with the song but after reading the lyrics (3 years later) I get it.The girl's nearly dead,their relationship is nearly dead,and the world has stopped while he's telling her she needs to make a decision about them.Gotta love metaphors.

Then of course there's Freunde Bleiben ,which I have to mention just because Johannes looks so damn fit even when he's throwing a hissy fit and chainsaw-ing up his ex-girlfriend's flat.Sod going out with anyone as sensitive as him!Anyway,this song is rather special to me,for the sad reason that it provided me with lots of German grammatical help in an exam once :/

But not everything from the first album is about bitter breakups and stale relationships.Quite a lot of it is,but there are 2 other songs in particular that I really love.Superheld is about someone who loves themself a bit too much,and the chorus is great to sing along to.If you can keep up with it that is.Finally,there's Beste Zeit Deines Lebens (they only have 30 seconds of it on LastFm :( ) ,which is such a positive song (lyrics here) that it makes me just a little bit emotional sometimes :/

I hope there's at least a few great songs like these on Chaostheorie.When I finally get round to listening to it,I shall let you know :)