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Albums of the week: Billie Eilish, Yola, Vader, Organek

Billie Eilish - "Happier Than Ever"Billie Eilish – “Happier Than Ever” – Press material

Billie Eilish not only gained fame with her debut album, but completely changed the face of today’s pop. It is a difficult task to become an authentic idol for teenagers and not to sound like a spoiled high school girl at the same time. The singer visited dark nooks and crannies that are an inseparable part of adolescence. She set the bar extremely high, and “Happier Than Ever” proves that she is an extremely conscious artist, despite the fact that she is only 19 years old. It is a great art to record an album that shows artistic development, and at the same time does not duplicate the known patterns that are expected of it.

“The things that once enjoyed me have now become work” – sings Eilish in the song “Getting Older”, which opens the album, and although it is not the happiest song the singer has recorded, when she promises us that everything will be fine from now on, it is impossible not to believe her. The artist knows very well what to do to make us listen not only to the melody, but also to what she has to say. Nowadays, when radios are flooded with tracks whose texts do not matter much, it is quite a difficult task. “I Didn’t Change My Number” is probably one of the most sexual songs in the American’s career. The repetitive, pulsating beat combined with Eilish’s sensual vocals give you shivers. Interestingly, the song itself has absolutely nothing to do with a happy romance and this is the perversity of the whole thing. The last minute of the song is about disturbing sounds and production at the highest level. “Billie Bossa Nova” is a direction that nobody expected and which we all needed. Who would have come up with the idea that Billie’s temperament would match a light and pleasant melody, clearly inspired by Latin samba. Finneas, the artist’s brother, knew this and once again proves that he and his sister form an unbeatable duo.

“Oxytocin” is rocking and will be an important part of Eilish’s concerts next year. The production and repetitive chorus pulsating in the ear is unstoppable. Anyway, it will be the same with us when we hear this piece in the club. The stroboscope stays on for a long time and we can’t get rid of it. “GOLDWING” is a great continuation of the same idea to create an atmosphere with a looping beat that destroys our sense of aesthetics to the limit, and at the same time not to disgust anything. “Not My Responsibility” is a cut-scene that spoils the fun for a while. I am not a supporter of the pathetic messages to the nation that Beyonce is famous for. Although there are really harsh words in the listings, they are said in an aggressive simple way and at times are too obvious. The words spoken by the artist, however, are an unequivocal response to the aggressive comments that have been made at the singer over the last few weeks.

READ FULL REVIEW HERE!

(6/6)

Yola - "Stand For Myself"Yola – “Stand For Myself” – Press materials

Yola declares in the title of her second full-length album that she can defend herself. As a child, she had to make it clear that she did not intend to take advantage of the good advice that her family was giving her – they argued that due to the poverty they struggled with, a musical career was not the best career path for her. Yola, disregarding economic security, moved on questwhose purpose was to find his own voice.

Yola, or Yolanda Quarterly, left Great Britain where she grew up and settled in Nashville. Until now, her music sounded as if the singer had been crashing through the States all her life and was collecting blues and folk sounds into a musical basket. Yola still keeps this one vibebut adds something else to it. Many of the songs from her new album would be the perfect backdrop for a party where a silver disco ball spins and flashes.

The strength of this, and the previous album, is Yola’s great, strong, slightly rough voice. It sounds like she came out of a session with her sister Rosetta Tharpe, called the godmother of rock and roll (interestingly, the artist will play Tharpe in the emerging film biography of Elvis Presley directed by Baz Luhrmann). But I missed something in “Stand For Myself”, which emotionally buzzed in “Walk Through Fire”, Yola’s previous album. I have the impression that on the album just released – especially in its second, weaker half – Yola went into a delicate smoothing, dance softness. She extinguished the fire from the predecessor, which made it difficult for me to actively listen to the next songs. The closer I got to the end, the less often I went to the screen to check the song title and make notes. It was no longer interesting.

“Stand For Myself” sometimes resembles the music that buzzes in the background when we wait for the train at a train station on the other side of the country at 6 am, sipping lura from a vending machine. I am not saying that it is not good and that the adventure is definitely over – but something was missing.

(4/6)

Vader - "De Profundis" (reissue)Vader – “De Profundis” (reissue) – Press materials

Re-release of the second album of the leading Polish exporters of death metal decibels. By publishing “De Profundis” Piotr “Peter” Wiwczarek and the company in 1995, they had a lot to prove, above all that the success of their debut, “The Ultimate Incantation” (1992), was not a coincidence, but an introduction to something even more impressive. . And “De Profundis” fulfilled these hopes, bringing music that is even faster, even stronger and even more uncompromising, and at the same time more mature, testifying to the undoubted development of the group, which has gained sophistication and experience while touring intensively on several continents. At that time, Vader started to be called “Slayer death metal” – mainly due to Peter’s relatively clear growls, because Morbid Angel was closer to the band musically.

It is thanks to this “De Profundis” that Vader has become a brand recognizable by fans of musical extremes all over the world. In recent years, the album was unfortunately difficult to get, now it is coming back in a remastered edition, also on vinyl for the first time. And in fact, what immediately catches your ears is the excellent sound, although the original edition could not be faulted in this respect. Despite the crazy pace of most of the songs, you can hear every detail well, also in the playing of the unforgettable drummer Krzysztof “Docent” Raczkowski, despite the more severe sound of drums compared to today’s standards.

As it happens with Vader, there is no way to take time from the audience. We get nine songs that translate into 34 minutes of amazing music, ranging from the smash-hit “Silent Empire” and ultra-fast “An Act Of Darkness”, through the almost catchy “Blood Of Kingu” and “Incarnation”, belonging to the band’s iron canon “Sothis” and “Reborn In Flames” ending. It is music that absolutely takes no prisoners, filled to the brim with riffing riffs as precise as a surgical scalpel and furiously twisted solos, carried by the amazing performances of “Docent” – the impressive power of his blasts is one thing, the other is finesse and musical imagination. All this is accompanied by texts on magical-cosmological-stray themes that suit such music.

To the fans of Vader, who still plays to this day and later recorded many successful albums, “De Profundis” does not need much recommendation. This is the most important and best album of the band, and at the same time one of the most outstanding positions in the history of not only Polish death metal. (6.66 / 6)

Organek - "Love will save us"Organek – “Will Save Us Love” – ​​Press materials

This album is different than anything that has been sung about the Warsaw Uprising in recent years. Without sentimentality, without erecting monuments, Tomasz Organek and his team talks about those days, following the footsteps of “Brok” – Eugeniusz Lokajski, Polish athlete, Olympian, who in 1944 played the role of a correspondent from the front of the fight for the liberation of the capital. Brok as an amateur photographer, second lieutenant in the infantry reserve of the Polish Army of the Second Polish Republic, a lieutenant of the Home Army, took more than a thousand photos documenting the fights, and most of all what happened in between: weddings, dates, laughter, time together. The thirst for life is reflected in his photos, and now also in the songs that grew out of the insurgent’s snapshots.

“Save Us Love” begins with a narrative presentation of the photographer, his ways, his way of thinking about war and the feeling of death. When Brok was developing subsequent photos in the darkroom, the tenement house collapsed. He was not killed by bullets, he was at the post. Now Organek gives voice to his photographs, thanks to the recently released album by the Warsaw Uprising Museum. Through photos to a melody, from that Warsaw to today, from the Uprising to the need to fight for freedom, here and now. This is the saturation of “We go to the city”, where the pop melody reflects the rhythm of the capital. The band uses a variety of musical means to convey the character of the story as organically as possible. Here life is intertwined with death. Emotions after the loss of her son in “Go, sonny, go” were poignantly conveyed by Magda Umer, an ode to love was sung in “Aniołowie Falls” by Ralph Kaminski. He appeared here as the voice of LGBT people who – which is not always worth remembering – also fought or created cultural works about the uprising. Klaudia Szafrańska appears in “The Mirror”, bringing one of Brok’s most mysterious photographs to life.

These songs bring us closer to bombed Warsaw as effectively as “Miasto 44” by Jan Komasa. In both titles, the personal aspirations of young people are in the foreground. Hardly anyone still remembers about them, at a time when politicians changed patriotism through all the cases. Without monuments, clichés and appeal, this is what this plate is like. Just a few stories about people immortalized by Brok and eight melodies bringing the bombed city to life. I wonder what the insurgents will say about them …

(5/6)

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