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CzesŁaw Niemen - Strange Is This World CD (album) cover


CzesŁaw Niemen

Eclectic Prog

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5 stars Time to give this album another 5 stars. And why is that? Here are the reasons.

First of all, Czeslaw Niemen is a great name in the Polish music industry, and has had a huge effect on a lot of bands there, including SBB. And no doubt about it, this man is very innovative, has an impressive way of playing and an awesome, undescribable voice. And I can't underline that enough. The things he can do with his organ and his scream send thrills through my spine and raise my hair up to the roof. This album alone is a magnificent experience, despite the tiny fact that he doesn't pronounce English perfectly, but, who does?

As for the songs, the first must be my favourite from him. Strange is the World (of human affairs). Great lyrical experience, simplistic but striking. And the way it begins. I first listened to it and thought to myself, "what is this" and then I needed to hear more of it. After the singing begun the album was sold. After the great beginning there is a very, even free jazzy solo part that keeps one wondering where he gets his ideas. The song is carried on with instrumental parts each one showing off better than the one before and leading to the lyrical parts again. The song is very rock thanks to Czeslaws voice, he really takes everything he can achieve out of it.

The second is a very melancholic song, Why Did You Stop Loving Me? It keeps the rock sound that actually carries on throughout the whole album. The guitar solo of this song kind of brings it back to life and is very rough. Yet it is very strong and good to the ear. These musicians can really hit it. In the end it gets slower again, and Niemen does his Gillan-like singing at his best accompanied by the drumfills and a guitar.

Acually the whole album is an experimental blues-rock album, which is easily heard in the third song, a 3/4 blues song I've Been Loving You Too Long. But there is blues that is blues and there is blues that is much more, and this is it. One of the best blues-rock I have ever heard.

The fourth, actually the last song on this is much more pompous than the others and carries on pretty neatly. This song is a lot more lyrical, and it's really worth listening to with care. This is very sentimental. Well, I can't describe it more, one has to experiense it personally.

There is also a bonus track on my version, We've Got the Sun, but it is borken for some reason and I can't listen to it. The parts that I can hear make it sound as if it didn't fit the record. It's a lot more straightforward song that any of the above.

I would say this is Czeslaw Niemen's best album. And what helps, is the fact that it's in English, so it's a lot easier for everyone to approach. The songs all together form a great experience, and I can't really stop listening to any of them. And let it be noted, this is my first 5 stars ever, and well deserved!

Report this review (#108420)
Posted Monday, January 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars With a backing band including the members of SBB, Czesław Niemen's first English-language album is a wild trip through spacey, psychedelic territory. Nieman's vocal performance brings to mind the mighty lungs of old-time psychedelic greats like Arthur Brown, whilst the musical backing warps these songs - including the Otis Redding I've Been Loving You Too Long and the title track, which is a mutation of a track from significantly earlier in Nieman's career - into weird, not-quite-ambient atmospheric jams. The end result is a fascinatingly original collaboration between some of the great names of 70s-era Polish prog which will be of interest to all fans of the trippier end of prog.
Report this review (#834211)
Posted Sunday, October 7, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Czesław Niemen is a musician that always amazes me, everytime I hear a 'new' album. Not different with Strange Is The World (1972), his first album in English.

As a band Niemen had the guys that later would record by themselves under the name SBB. They were, indeed, the best band in Poland, no doubt about it.

He was one of the first guys in Poland to actually go further with his music, since the very beginning, and even being succesful he wasn't afraid to venture himself into strange lands. That's what Strange Is The World (1972) is.

Niemen's music is highly Progressive and Experimental with lots of organ and keyboards, very Prog. But what is interesting is how he was able to sing even love songs ('I've Been Loving You Too Long') or break up songs ('Why Did You Stop Loving Me') with such passio and 'progness'.

Now, the passion is something to talk about. You'll not find a better singer in the Prog world. His voice is strong and full of emotion, he sings with his heart.

Unfortunatelly Niemen passed away in 2004 in consequence of a cancer, but his music will live forever!

Report this review (#1118576)
Posted Friday, January 24, 2014 | Review Permalink

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