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You And I - Exit CD (album) cover


You And I


Prog Folk

3.57 | 23 ratings

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Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars Can’t say as I’ve heard too many prog bands from Hungary; After Crying and Solaris, that’s about it. You and I are nothing like either of those bands though; they’re more of a combination of neo-prog (thanks mostly to guitarist Zsolt Kosztyu who moves between new-age fusion, rock and an aggressive sort of folk effortlessly. At times his guitar work blends into Gergö Szabó’s keyboards for a truly harmonious bed of sound that the rest of the band simply moves along to.

But the real treat here – and anyone reading should note this, is the stunning vocal work of Fanni Völgyessy-Szomor. At times she is simply singing pure pop, albeit with a conviction that would stun wannabes like Britney Spears or Jessica Simpson; but her voice just seems to float above the rest of the music even when the instrumentation flounders into noodling, such as on the overly pretentious “Halálistenségek” (Gods of Death), which unfortunately is the marquee song of the whole record. No matter, she shifts from angelic to a more sophisticated (and Hungarian) Pat Benatar to turn even this tedious track into something worth listening to.

The central theme of ‘Exit’ is death, or more appropriately the transition from the here and now to whatever isn’t here and now. So, death basically. The lyrics range from philosophical to inspirational to hackneyed, but most of them are sung in Hungarian so for the majority of us this doesn’t really matter. The vocals and, to a lesser but still significant extent the guitar, makes this album work anyway.

My only complaint (other than the sometimes flaccid synth work) is that Ms. Völgyessy-Szomor doesn’t sing enough. On the opening track she sets what should be the tone for the entire album with a high and airy vocal track set against a mellow guitar/keyboard buildup. But after that the record starts to wander, and until the first part of the ‘compass’ suite (“Észak” – ‘North’), she mostly takes a back seat to the keyboardist. Unfortunately on this and the subsequent three tracks the music takes on a decidedly rock/lull/rock pattern that doesn’t do either her or Kosztyu justice.

This is a really uneven album at times, and I think the band could have made it much stronger by not trying to make the music quite so accessible, especially given the rather somber theme of most of the songs. In the end I’m left thinking this is a band with a great deal of potential, but lacking in focused inspiration. I’m not sure whatever happened to them but considering this was the last album they released and it was nearly eight years ago, I’d say they aren’t exactly going strong, if they are even still together.

No matter, this is a strong three star effort that could have been four easily had the band focused more on their strengths and not spent time trying to be quite so reaching. Recommended to neo fans except those who don’t favor female vocalists. And for those who don’t, I’d even recommend this record as a strong argument for why you should find a way to get more women singing on your albums. At least ones like Ms. Völgyessy-Szomor.


ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |


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