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The Ryszard Kramarski Project

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The Ryszard Kramarski Project Books That End in Tears (Duets Version) album cover
4.32 | 19 ratings | 1 reviews | 68% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2022

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Lord of the Flies (Władca Much - W. Golding) (12:15) :
- i. Living in the Island
- ii. Rumours of the Monster
- iii. Piggy's Death
2. The Trial (Le Procès - F. Kafka) (11:02) :
- i. Mr. K.
- ii. Waiting for the Trial
- iii. Conversation with the Priest
- iv. Dying Like a Dog
3. Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984 - G. Orwell) (12:51) :
- i. Secret Diary
- ii. Forbidden Love
- iii. Room 101
4. Animal Farm (Folwark Zwierzęcy - G. Orwell) (11:47) :
- i. Old Major
- ii. Animals' Revolution
- iii. Terror at the Farm
- iv. People & Pigs
5. The Little Match Girl (J.CH.Andersen) (bonus track) (7:28)

Total Time 55:23

Line-up / Musicians

Karolina Leszko / vocals
- David Lewandowski / vocals
- Marcin Kruczek / guitar
- Krzysztof Wyrwa / bass
- Grzegorz Fieber / drums
- Ryszard Kramarski / keyboards, acoustic guitar

- Zdzislaw "Bat" Zabierzewski / spoken words

Releases information

Label: Lynx Music (LM212CD)
Format: CD
March 17, 2022

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
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THE RYSZARD KRAMARSKI PROJECT Books That End in Tears (Duets Version) ratings distribution

(19 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(68%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(26%)
Good, but non-essential (5%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THE RYSZARD KRAMARSKI PROJECT Books That End in Tears (Duets Version) reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Nice melodic music which often This reminds me a lot of some of the missteps Robert Reed's MAGENTA project have taken when they've tried to render historical or cultural / literary themes into musical expression.

1. "Lord of Flies" (12:15) uses PINK FLOYD's "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" with a Magenta- and Kate Bush-like perspective/attitude. The "We are lords of the flies" lyric, repeated over and over during the course of this 12-minute song, just sounds inappropriate. (I recall nowhere in the book that the boys felt themselves as such). Female vocalist Karolina Leszko possesses a gorgeous voice, but her approach to delivering the lyrics is so lackadaisical--even feeling at times as if she's bored or apathetic. The speed up in the seventh minute to provide a more exciting, dynamic bed for the instrumental solos (synth and electric guitar) does nothing to improve or impress--other than to confirm that Ryszard has, in fact, admirable David Gilmour imitative skills. (20/25)

2. "The Trial" (11:02) the most uptempo song on the album, presents some tension-filled blues-rock music (which reminds me for some reason of Chile's HOMÍNIDO) over which the two vocalists ramble on and on about Kafka's protagonist's predicament. The pace of the music is appreciated but gets pretty boring and monotonous over the course of ten minutes. While I do like the turn-taking approach to delivering the narrative (with Karolina's strong Eliana Valenzeula/Sara Aliani-like vocal)--but then my main complaint is that this sounds and feels just like that: a narrative rendering of the Cliff Notes synopsis of the story. Nice bluesy guitar solo in the fourth minute--but then it draws so much from both David Gilmour's "Time" solo as well as some other famous "rock standard" solo. The delicate seventh minute is a nice change. This song feels like it has so much promise and potential but just fails to develop and deliver on all counts--even those dynamic guitar soli and the transition to the delicate passages and the Pink FLOYD themes over the second half can save it: they keep returning to that format of the first half. (16.25/20)

3. "1984" (12:51) uses The Eagles' "Hotel California" for its musical base while David and Karolina trade narrative singing. Again I am so reminded of Robert Reed and Christina Booth the Magenta albums of the past decade. Definitely a big step forward in the lyrical department--this time using "Look out, Big Brother is watching" as the repeated mantra throughout and having David and Karolina represent Winston and Julia, respectively, but that all-too-familiar musical backdrop is rather distracting/detracting. Ryszard's dynamic guitar play are nice distractions--as is the "Run Like Hell" rhythm track used to back the motif in the song's middle section--but the constant sameness of David and Karolina's vocal deliveries often gets a little boring. The delicate "never see you now" passage is a nice break--followed by another nice Ryszard guitar solo--but then we're back to "Hotel California" and the same vocal melodies repeated ad nauseum. (21.75/25) 4. "Animal Farm" (11:47) singing about an animal rebellion (against humans) and the details of the political contract you've negotiated among your fellow farm animals--not your most exciting subject for a musical expression. After yet another duet delivery of the story by David Lewandowski and Karolina Leszko I'm reminded of the Broadway play, "Hamilton." Is Ryszard feeling inspired to offer to his fellow humans an alternate, more-accessible entertainment form for the telling of these amazing stories--in hopes of, perhaps, helping the stories (and their ground-breaking ideas) reach a wider audience? The musical foundation this time feels like a cross between more Hotel California-like chord progressions and pacing (there's even a "Hotel California" melody blended with "Comfortably Numb" in the final guitar solo of the song!) with with a little more Richard Wright chord play in the keyboard department and Roxy Music's "True to Life" melodies. This song just confirms for me how far superior are the elements of poetry for musical storytelling than straight narrative prose. (21.5/25)

5. "The Little Match Girl" (7:28) a very pleasant, engaging beginning is diminished a bit by a kind of hokey guitar play during the chorus section. Sensitive guitar solo in the long instrumental bridge before the second verse begins. A more fiery guitar solo in the second extended "bridge". Nice. I like the way the lyrics of this one are not as synoptic but, instead, expressive of the story's mood. (13.25/15)

I have to commend Ryszard for some nice sound engineering throughout--one of the album's saving graces. I just wish the music--especially the foundational stuff--was more original, less monotonous in long stretches, and more complex. The music is nice though never complex or exciting (all performances good, with nothing virtuosic or complex enough to displaying the musicians' skills [or not]). One of my ratings principles has always been to compare the music and product being reviewed to my own skills and talents: I ask myself "Could I do as well or better?" and this is one of those rare occasions in which I think that I might just have been able to "do it better"--at least on the conceptual/compositional level. Another criterion is whether or not the music contributes to making the world a better place than it was before (or without) it. The efforts Ryszard and company put into this album release may, in fact, contribute to making the the world a better place--except for the possibility that a better male English-speaking singer might have served the story retellings better than David Lewandoswki and Zdzislaw "Bat" Zabierzewski. These are stories that were originally published in English, German, and Russian and should, in my opinion, perhaps have been rendered/delivered as such by this project. Also, though imitation is a high form of complement, I really wish Ryszard had been more original instead of synthetic in his musical output here.

C+/3.5 stars; a nice-sounding product with some great David Gilmour-like guitar soloing, but the verbal and kinetic realization of the band's ideas seem weak, not as satisfying as, say, the Colossus Magazine/Musea Records literary interpretation commissions.

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