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Skaldowie - Stworzenia Świata Część Druga CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.65 | 46 ratings

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3 stars Conceived as the most artsy and grandiose Skaldowie's album, "Stworzenia Świata Część Druga" (Creation of the World Part Two) is not a fully satisfying effort. While from the perspective of the form, this seems a prog-rocker's dream (an entire vinyl side is devoted to a suite and followed by a couple of lesser tracks), there are at least two issues questioning its overall value.

The album will always remain in the shadow of its famous brother, its doom having been recently sealed by re-packaging alongside "Krywań Krywań" on one CD. So after the Krywań proper, the prince, we get "Stworzenia Świata Część Druga", the duke, repeating the same formula albeit in a slightly modernised format. This generally means a synthesizer in place of the Hammond, and a tangibly more poppy feel, despite the songs' length, best spotted at the suite's closing theme. There must have been a reason for the paradigm to be thus exploited, but frankly I cannot find it. The main track is nice on its own, but it does not have anything to offer that the big brother has not come up with before. There is even a thinly veiled quote from Krywaniu Krywaniu halfway into the suite! The organ parts is still impeccable (Andrzej Zieliński is by far my favourite keyboard player), as are the vocal harmonies, but the composition seems to lack both inspiration (hard as it is to measure), and the essence. Sure, Krywaniu Krywaniu's main power also lied in the soloing, but this time the old energy is nowhere to be heard, and an obvious question about editing arises.

As Skaldowie can be easily compared with The Moody Blues with all the respective strengths and weaknesses, this album is Skaldowie's "Every Good Boy". However, the main difference between the two is that the Moodies' album featured some masterpieces like One More Time To Live, standing out of the context of both the mother album and the others. The present LP's lesser tracks are not that great. Or perhaps they are, but they are totally killed the flaw no. 2: scandalous production.

This is best shown in the magnificent Miłość Przez Wieki Się Nie Zmienia (Love Does Not Change Through Ages), written and sung by bassist Konrad Ratyński with wonderful lyrics by Ewa Lipska loosely based on an excerpt from Shakespeare. Some compilations (most notably "Antologia") feature a different version of the song, recorded and mixed in the former GDR. This is a rare example of what miracles mere production can make. While the GDR version might be one of Skaldowie's Top 10 hits on my list (poignant lead vocals, awesome backing harmonies, a great electric violin part by Jacek Zieliński and amazing drumming from Budziaszek!), the Polish version does not gel at all and is ultimately tiring. Fatal ineptitude of Polish engineers, as the only difference in the very playing is a slightly slower tempo!

In this light, it is hard to estimate the full potential of the three remaining tracks. Przechodząc Obok Siebie (Passing By) is definitely the weakest one. On a more pop-oriented or more eclectic Skaldowie album like Wszystkim Zakochanym it would fit better, here it looks and sounds simply bland. Nasza Miłość Jak Wiatr Halny (Our Love Like a Pasture Wind), the album counterpart of Krywań's Juhas Zmarł, ploughs the good old highlanders' furrow, though in a somewhat less energetic fashion. It is still a good song with alternating leads from Ratyński and Jacek Zieliński, much as it seems to be exploiting some melodic patterns from older albums. Jak Znikający Punkt (Like a Vanishing Point) is the most rocking song here, a fine album closer with a splendid vocal duet from brothers Zieliński, and it is a pity the production is as sleepy as in Przechodząc, which it follows. I do not know if a GDR version of this song exists.

Not a disaster but also not a very necessary album from Skaldowie. A couple of very good songs, some fine musicianship, and comparably many lead vocals by Ratyński, which is a fine (and about the only) novelty. Plus the three-parts vocal harmonies, of which Skaldowie were genuine masters by then.

gero | 3/5 |


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