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Bijelo Dugme - Ćiribiribela CD (album) cover


Bijelo Dugme


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2.11 | 16 ratings

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2 stars The last and probably the worst BIJELO DUGME album.

After the seventies period (heavy rock with occasional moments of prog and folk), and 80's period (new wave pop-rock period), the band's last album, "Ćiribiribela" is a sort of a mixed bag: it's a combination of (mostly bland) pop with synths and cheesy drum machines plus some elements of classic rock and a few experiments.

Those experiments were not very successful; the final result is sort of a mixed bag, sometimes hilarious, sometimes nonsensical, sometimes alright, but unfortunately it was alright only occasionally.

Goran Bregović, the main man and spiritus movens of the band was always blending elements of folk and rock, and he is always highly controversial person too. Why is this important? Well, most of the time is not. In the self-titled song he used traditional Croatian (Dalmatian) klapa singing as an intro, before song mutated into a pop drivel with some cheesy brasses. The last track "Lijepa nasa" is simply a mixture (both lyrically and melodically) of Croatian national anthem and an old Serbian folk song. This is quite a failed experiment - and, interestingly, it caused much less controversy then than Bregović probably wanted - - maybe because he did a similar thing before - daring to touch official Yugoslavian anthem at the time. The aforementioned song would be much more controversial nowadays - but it's completely forgotten and sunk into obscurity and obsolecy.(?)

Another controversial track from the album is "Djurdjevdan je a ja nisam s onom koju volim" - the song is authentic folk with no rock elements whatsoever - the move that was not untypical for the rock bands of that time, in the turbulent days of national identity that occured just before bitter war started. However "Djurdjevdan je a ja nisam s onom koju volim" is based upon (or ripped off?) a Serbian Gypsian brass folk music and it remained highly controversial up to this day. It's undoubtedly the best number on the album (and absolutely out of place in the whole concept) but sadly, the musical context was (and still is) completely overshadowed with the political context: somehow, the song became an "unofficial anthem" of Serbs (at least of Serbs in Bosnia and Croatia) and, needless to say, it was absolutely banned from Croatia in the early 90's. It's still highly unlikely that you will hear it on a radio (Croatia is, for some reason, the most sensitive country of all former Yugoslav countries, making everything that was Yugoslavia-related a taboo, although things are softening a bit nowadays).

I really hate to talk that much about political context over a musical value - but BIJELO DUGME were always political, even indirectly. The band disbanded after this album - not because of different musical and business opinion - but because of politics. The band members were making BIJELO DUGME, a Bosnian band, truly Yugoslavian and multi-national band, in a way they represented Yugoslavia through the prism of rock music. When the country disappeared, the band disappeared too.

However they remained highly praised by the fans of good music - but not because of this album. The albums contained more than a few hits: aforementioned "Djurdjevan", "Napile se ulice", "Ako ima boga" (both pop-rock) and "Nakon svih ovih godina" (power ballad) which contains, if nothing else, the most memorable Hammond solo from the non-70's, appealing even to the non-demanding musical audience!

Generally, the BIJELO DUGME's swan song is quite weak , and it's not recommended for a prog rock collection. It's recommended for the fans of BIJELO DUGME, Yu-rock in general and for nostalgic reasons maybe.

clarke2001 | 2/5 |


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