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Little Tragedies

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Little Tragedies Chinese Songs - Part II album cover
3.38 | 28 ratings | 4 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Letter To My Wife (6:50)
2. In the Moonlight (3:33)
3. My Heart is Sad, Thoughts in Dismay. (6:05)
4. Vernal Wind, Road Dust. (3:17)
5. My Century's Events are Worthless. (9:23)
6. The Boat by the Lake is Only for Three. (11:31)

Total Time: 40:41

Line-up / Musicians

- Gennady Ilyin / composer, keyboards, vocals
- Yuri Skripkin / drums
- Alexander Malakhovsky / guitar
- Oleg Babynin / bass guitar, vocals
- Aleksey Bildin / saxophone

Based on traditional Chinese poetry

Releases information

CD MALS Records 2007

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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LITTLE TRAGEDIES Chinese Songs - Part II ratings distribution

(28 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (46%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

LITTLE TRAGEDIES Chinese Songs - Part II reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars Although Chinese Songs Part 1 is a beautiful album, I had the idea that they had lost some of their dynamics, something I enjoyed on their albums Return and New Faust.

Listening to Chinese Songs Part 2, I quickly got the impression that the music delivers more dynamics than on Part 1 and that there is a good balance between bombastic and mellow parts. And there is not very much work on the clarinet, I am not really a fan of woodwind - and brass instruments like saxophone, trumpet and clarinet, uuugh! The first composition Letter To My Wife showcases Little Tragedy their musical trademark: a bit melancholical Russian vocals, fiery guitar, a propulsive rhythm-section and spectacular solos on the synthesizer, a very good start of this album! In the other five compositions the atmospheres range from dreamy with acoustic guitar, warm Grand piano and sensitive guitar runs (like in the strong My Heart is Sad, Thoughts in Dismay. ) to heavy bombastic with sensational keyboards, propulsive guitar riffs and a thunderous rhythm-section (like in my highlight My Century's Events are Worthless. featuring a spectacular duel between organ and syntehsizer).

I have the idea that Little Tragedies is making more elaborate and more balanced compositions, it's a better and more captivating effort than the for me a bit too laidback Chinese Song Part 1. Little Tragedies is back on the track! My rating: 3,5 stars.

Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars After being a bit disappointed with "Chinese Songs - Part I" I did not lose the hope and went to get this "Chinese Songs - Part II" and. well better than the first part; in fact, better than I supposed it would be. It's not surprising that Part II have much in common with Part I but the approach is more energetic and frantic being responsible to grab immediately the hearer's attention. This album is short, compact and adequately balanced; all those nice instrumentation and singing that forge the band's registered mark are present here and contribute largely to upgrade Part II when compared with Part I (should these Chinese Songs be released as a double album?).

All begins with 'Letter to my wife' which reminds some of the most enjoyable of another great LITTLE TRAGEDIES' album ("The Sixth Sense"). The soft and brief 'In the moonlight' provides a kind of intro for the next track, 'My heart is sad, thoughts in dismay.', which unfortunately does not work, being only repetitive and dull. 'Vernal wind, road dust." increases the album climate, with its catchy and warm tunes. And then comes 'My century events are worthless.', really the track that makes the difference; it's here that we may see LT at their peak. This song shows clearly all capacities and skills of band's members: splendid keyboards, fine guitars, heavy drumming and great vocals - all acting in accordance to shape the best track of both parts of these Chinese Songs. It's a shame that they close the album with the cold and distant 'The boat by the lake is only for three.", that perhaps fits well the general concept but musically adds few.

Rating "Chinese Songs - Part II" is somewhat challenging because even being one step above the "Chinese Songs - Part I" it did not achieve the full excellence status hence staying in the good, non essential landing which in the end of the day pairs the two albums. Well, it's better to read the reviews (if someone dares to do it).

Review by avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I don't know Little Tragedies too well, but I did follow some of the relative hype surrounding their albums New Faust and Six Sense. I only heard the former and liked it quite a bit with its heavy keyboard driven prog. Regarding Chinese Songs, I have read good reviews of Part I and mixed reviews of this album, Part II. I decided to give it a go nonetheless. I have to say that this album delivers some great dynamics, spacey-symph parts which flow great and really clicked with me. The first song, Letter To My Wife, starts with a tune that has a nice ring to it, but nothing too interesting (somewhat made me feel it's a Russian folk tune) but then in middle track they go on to a higher level, unleashing their abilities and playing their hearts out. The second track will seem as filler to some, but it's a nice quiet tune. With the third song, My Heart is Sad, Thoughts in Dismay again we have a nice and sad tune opening and then giving way to keyboards and the rest of the lineup for them to develop this and add an emotional instrumental part leading to a small climax. However, this song does not come out well for me; it feels like some idea that didn't develop as it should have. Vernal Wind, Road Dust has a wind-instrument sounding keyboard playing what might sound as a south- American tune. The melody is quite nice, but again, not enough is done to develop what could be so much more. I'm saying this based on what I heard in New Faust and maybe this is not fair, so take this into account if you know the band's other output and know this not to be the case. Then we come to My Century's Events are Worthless, which starts with a powerful riff (powerful in this album's standards). There's a nice tune that keyboards paint, backed by the energetic guitar. It then seems to fade away into space but it quickly recuperated by great guitar riffing and keyboards to give the illusion of a prog-metal song. This is what I expect these guys to do. They show their talent here, though not all of it; this is the ground they should build on and not settle for what came before this song. There is great playing in here (even made me think of Dream Theater), nice development of some of the ideas coming up in the song (though not enough) but given that this is the only song on this album that reaches this level makes me wonder what is it that they set out to get with this album. However good this track is, I actually think that the opening track is better in structure since it showed a more coherent form and aim, plus I really digged the instrumental segment. The closing song, The Boat by the Lake is Only for Three, despite being long, and thus have a potential for developing interesting musical ideas, fails to do so. It's a silent track that I can't figure why they thought it should be featured on the album and if so, why such a long track. Not that it's a bad song, but there's nothing too interesting about it, not really fitting the rest of the album's atmosphere too well (though I know other albums that do this and like it, but here I don't think it is a wise choice).

There is a melancholic feel governing the sound of this album. As if life, however good it gets, can't evade this gloom that seems to pervade everything. To compare to New Faust, I feel as if there is less experimentation or maybe less developing of ideas, not enough "progressivity".

One thing must be said about the language; I for one have no problem with non-English lyrics and even prefer it that bands sing in their native tongue. However I never liked the sound of the Russian language; despite that, it works fine for me and I have no problem listening to them. But for those of you who can't tolerate anything not sung in English (and I've met some people like this), then you should take that into account with this album.

To sum up, this album has some decent and pleasant songs on it, but overall I'd say this is not a release I'll be going back to listen to in the future too often if at all. I don't find it memorable or particularly

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The second part of Little Tragedies Chinese Songs release to some extent continues where the first one left off, with a nice mix of symphonic rock tunes and more ambient new age inspired music.

But in this second chapter the inspirations seems to have faded slightly, and the band ends up adding variations to the sound and the style here without being able to quite meet the standard they set in the first part - although it is a close call. Opening number Letter To My Wife is the weakest song here; containing many fascinating and intriguing elements but that doesn't quite seem to gel as a tune. After this tune the rest of the album holds high quality overall, but only one tune that is extraordinary - the calm, mellow and dreamy instrumental tune In the Moonlight. Final track The Boat by the Lake is Only for Three. comes close to being this albums version of Wanderer in part 1, but lacks something to be quite as transfixing for me.

A bit more variation in styles on this second part of Chinese Songs, but still with a mix of mellow, ambient new age tinged songs and symphonic rock tunes being the name of the game here. If you liked the first you'll approve of this one too; and if you haven't heard the first part check that one out before this release.

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