Czech Republic - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 16 - 02/11/98
In her first solo outing, this popular Czech artist doesn't stray
far from known territory. Although every cut is written by a different
composer, almost all the musicians have worked together before. This
helps to keep the sound and the style of the album consistent.
For instance, the opening Ti zvlastni (The Odd Ones) which
features Bara's low and soft singing and a guitar solo by Slavek Janda
was written by Josef Vondrasek, Janda's old partner from the 'Abraxas'
days. (Basically an identical solo turns up later in Bila kraci
- Strutting White.) Or in Vikend lvich vasni (Weekend of Lion
Passions), the YoYo Band's Tesarik
brothers make a brief appearance on Bara's behalf. Vilem Cok, who
contributed Mouchy jdou (Marching Flies) and Ota Balaz - who
later became Balage - started out
together in the band 'Nova ruze' (New Rose). Other musicians who wrote
songs and play here, Stromboli's Michal Pavlicek (whose band Bara
fronted from 1984 to 1989), Karel Sucha from
Laura a jeji tygri and David Koller
Lucie, are well known musicians in
their own right.
Basikova started out in 1982 with the progressive rock band
Precedens when she was just 18. It is that band's founding fathers
Jan "Sahara" Hedl and Martin Nemec who are behind her self-titled
release. While Nemec's techno-pop production keeps the album together,
Hedl's lyrics are mostly incomprehensible. Take for instance this
excerpt from Soumerna (Symmetrical):
To sail on a vessel of fire through twilight of virgins
Where no desire holds its breath,
In the shadows of edges
Oddly, with lyrics this incomprehensible the songwriting suffers
from a lack of imagination. But is Bara Basikova really
Bara's album? Consider this:
- She has proven she can sing better than this, performing the role of
Mary in the Czech version of Jesus Christ, Superstar for five years,
before collapsing on stage in 1995.
- She is more creative than this;
after all, the world renowned author Bohumil Hrabal has written the
introduction to her acclaimed novel Rozhovory s utekem (The
- She's also a well-known model, yet the two
pictures on the CD show her as an under-nurished, bulimic waif.
Being a popular actress, appearing for instance in the 1990 comedy
Prazaci, ty se maj (Prague Residents Live Well), she could've
shown more clout.
So how does this record rank? Not too good, I'm afraid. The debut
album of an experienced and talented entertainer such a Bara Basikova
should've been better. Hopefully, in the future she'll listen more to
herself and less to the voices from her past.
Copyright © 1998 Ivan Sever