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Leb I Sol - Anthology CD (album) cover


Leb I Sol

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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5 stars Perfect mixture of etno rock and jazz music with lots of Balkan sense. You might not like it if You don't like local Balkan musi. And yet Vlatko Stefanovski's guitar playing is comparable to some other guitar masters if not even better.

Report this review (#61989)
Posted Wednesday, December 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Double disc "Anthology" set is probably the best recapitulation of the entire LEB I SOL career, thus making it a good first-purchase for novices. However, prog purists will notice too many tracks from the later albums of the pop-mainstream period, notably taken from "Kao kakao", including perhaps the worst song LEB I SOL ever written - "Autoput", at the expense of brutally under-represented "Infinity" (only two tracks). On the other hand, first two albums - fusion masterpieces - are fairly enough included, so if you can spare a few bucks more and this is your first LEB I SOL purchase, then go for it! If you don't like their pop period of the late 1980s and would like to restrict a collection to pure fusion highlights of their first four albums, then a single disc "Devetka" compilation is your preferred choice. Three stars for "Anthology".
Report this review (#62045)
Posted Wednesday, December 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Probably one of the best compilations ever!

Why? Well, it's difficult to make a decent compilation of one band's work; there's always something wrong with the selection. LEB I SOL's "Anthology" represent excellent vivisection of band's career: Disk 1 contains their 70's (progressive) period, and Disk 2 their 80's (pop rock) period. We can argue about selection of their 70's work - something is always missing ("Pesma O Sonji H", "Hogar"), but however, it's proudly representing band's catalogue from the 70's at its best. I have no complaints about the Disk 2, almost everything that stands up from the 80's catalogue (quality-wise) is presented here. Actually, I always had an impression that their 80s work is much weaker, pop-oriented and commercial. Don't get me wrong, that is true to some extent, but this compilation denies the fact that their 80's works are not worth investigating. Actually, they were much better (and proggier if you want) than many big and famous rock bands and their works in the eighties.

I heard that all the (old) tracks were re-recorded for this compilation, but I am not sure is it true or not. If it is, the sound is literally indistinguishable from the originals - including the keyboards. But maybe I just understood wrong, the tracks were probably just re-mastered (old originals were suffering of poor audio quality).

What can I say more? This is an excellent compilation of an excellent band. Get it, you won't regret it.

Report this review (#101889)
Posted Wednesday, December 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is an excellent retrospective of Leb i Sol's career. You get 34 songs on 2 discs, chronologically spanning the band's entire discography. There are a few songs missing in my personal opinion, yet this collection is very good.

CD 1 presents the first 4 albums and includes the best tracks Leb i Sol has ever made. You get a shorter/faster (?) version of Aber dojde Donke, a rendition of an old Macedonian song. Devetka comes in, along with other songs from their self-titled debut. There's only one thing I complain about - Kokoska appears in an edited version, without the opening drum solo! Song no. 6 (Jovano Jovanke) is another Macedonian traditional, beautifully arranged and performed and one of my favourite LiS songs. Their best release, Leb i Sol II, is almost entirely presented. My favourites include Akupunktura, Kako ti drago (Bodan's work on bass), Dikijeva igra (Garo's work on drums) and Marija - but it's really tough to choose. The band has moved to a more-jazz-than-rock sound on the album Rucni Rad. You'll find examples of this term here, through Rebus. Finally, the 4th album Beskonacno is presented with only two songs (fretless-tinged Skakavac and Ziva rana, respectively), which is a great shame! Stomacne vijuge are apparently missing more than anything else.

CD 2 presents the band's later career, more radio-friendly and rock-oriented. Already on the beginning of the disc, there is another injustice. Sledovanje was presented with only 1 track (a vocal track, even). Somehow, the excellent instrumentals Mirko and Mile pop Jordanov didn't make it here. Kalabalak and Tangenta are presented with OK songs, notably Bistra voda and Pretposlednji valcer, while the soundtrack-collection Zvuci zid is presented with Country (Jovano Jovanke from CD 1 is from this album, too). And here comes the main problem. Whoever chose the songs for this compilation apparently considered Kao kakao their most important album of the second phase. So you have quite a lot of songs from this release. While Mamurni ljudi and Cuvam noc od budnih are OK, you have Autoput with its boring chorus and completely senseless Skopje. The album's successor, Putujemo, was even worse. Thank God there's only 2 songs off of it. The collection's closer is Uci me majko, karaj me ... (yet another traditional) from their final release Live in New York. Probably the only song from the mentioned album worth hearing.

I believe Anthology is an excellent choice to get to know Leb i Sol's music. Recommended for anyone who likes jazz-rock instrumentals with a soul, as well as anyone who find ethnic influences in rock interesting.

Report this review (#172931)
Posted Tuesday, June 3, 2008 | Review Permalink

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