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The Ryszard Kramarski Project

Crossover Prog

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The Ryszard Kramarski Project Odyssey 9999 album cover
4.07 | 32 ratings | 2 reviews | 38% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2023

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Twelve Spaceships (7:20)
2. Penelope (4:40)
3. Cyclops Cave (5:30)
4. The Curse of Circe (6:10)
5. The Killing Songs of Sirens (6:50)
6. Calypso Nymph (5:15)
7. Ithaca (5:00)
8. Odysseus (7:04)

Total Time 47:49

Line-up / Musicians

- Ryszard Kramarski / keyboards, acoustic & electric guitars
- Marcin Kruczek / guitars
- Krzysztof Wyrwa / bass, fretless
- Grzegorz Fieber / drums (2,3,5,7)

- Stuart Nicholson / vocals (1,8)
- Ania Batko / vocals (2,5)
- Marek Smelkowski / vocals (4,6)
- Łukasz Gałęziowski / vocals (3,7)
- Piotr Płonka / guitar solo (3 first solo, 5 first solo)
- Grzegorz Bauer / drums (1,4,6,8)
- Łukasz Płatek / tenor saxophone (1,8)

Releases information

Label: Lynx Music (LM231 CD-DG)
Format: CD, Digital
September 1, 2023

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
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THE RYSZARD KRAMARSKI PROJECT Odyssey 9999 ratings distribution

(32 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(38%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A Polish artist that I've only just become aware of despite the fact that he's been active in Prog World since the 1990s (as founder of both FRAMAURO, in 1996, and MILLENIUM in 1999), this is Ryszard's seventh studio release under the Project format since 2016!

1. "Twelve Spaceships" (7:20) intriguing opening: almost cinematic, but then it coagulates into what sounds like a clone of IQ (with some awkward compression of lead singer Stuart Nicholson (GALAHAD)'s voice); where's the magic? It drags! It's formulaic! And, where's the passion? the enthusiasm? The DAVE GILMOUR imitation guitar solo in the sixth minute is weak and the sax that follows feels second row (unimaginative). (12.75/15)

2. "Penelope" (4:40) delicate piano and shamisen (?) provide a pensive, emotional fabric upon which Ania Batko sings. It's a very powerful, very emotional vocal--one that starts out sounding very much like the delicate side of KATE BUSH but then becomes more PAT BENETAR-strong with the more forceful phrases. Fretless bass and drums join in while Ania amps up and then Ryszard delivers a top notch electric guitar solo. Ania closes out the song with a return to the delicate, soft, Kate Bush-like voice of the opening. A beautiful, almost perfect song. (9.5/10)

3. "Cyclops Cave" (5:30) opens with a nice even-keeled classic rock foundation over which guest Piotr Płonka (MILLENIUM) solos on an electric guitar for the first minute. Vocalist of Millenium lead vocalist and long-time contributor to Ryszard's solo project, Łukasz Gałęziowski, enters to sing in a standard 1980s classic rock voice. Hammond organ solo over piano and rock rhythm section before coming back for the singing motif. Łukasz' voice is strong but fairly locked into a one-note monotone for much of the song. Ryszard gets the guitar solo in the third instrumental passage--which pretty much closes out the song. (8.66667/10)

4. "The Curse of Circe" (6:10) a fairly steady musical form over which another Millenium singer, Marek Smelkowski sings. Marek has a more variable approach to singing than his bandmate Łukasz Gall--more rock and metal-flexible--but a slightly thinner voice. Still, he does a nice job on what turns out to be a solid yet uneventful song. (Words/lyrics don't click with me. Sorry!) (8.66667/10)

5. "The Killing Songs of Sirens" (6:50) Female vocalist Ania Batko graces us with her presence over this heavier yet equally-straightforward rock song. Ania's vocalise over the muted guitar chord play between verses is quite lovely--my favorite parts of the song. Unfortunately, the melody lines given to Ania's vocal are almost as dull and soporific as the music beneath. Yet another replication of a David Gilmour guitar solo in the sixth and seventh minutes only serves to rankle me. (13.125/15)

6. "Calypso Nymph" (5:15) another plodder given to Marek Smelkowski to sing over. Some nice extended bluesy guitar soloing in the third minute. Again, I wish word comprehension came more naturally to me (and these singers have excellent command of my own native English language!) In the end, it's just another set of nice, clear performances of what sounds like a 1980s rock ballad. (8.5/10)

7. "Ithaca" (5:00) Łukasz "Gall" is back for the lead vocal on this one. For some reason some of the instrumental sounds here (acoustic guitar, synths, Tony Levin-like bass, piano, sax) give this song a more delectable, interesting palette to my ears. Łukasz' voice sounds a little more vulnerable here--which feels good: gives him a more human element with which to connect. Hitting a higher range at the end of the some of the verses makes him sound as close to Peter Nicholls as Stuart Nicholson does. (Why is the IQ sound--and especially the Peter Nicholls voice sound--so attractive to so many bands?) (8.75/10)

8. "Odysseus" (7:04) Gently chord-played piano and strummed acoustic guitar are soon joined by the rhythm section and a bombastic saxophone solo. Entering in the second minute, Stu Nicholson's treated voice sounds a bit more vulnerable and interesting here than on "Twelve Spaceships" though he still tends to sing as if he comes from the PETER NICHOLLS school of NeoProg vocals: almost monotone. I resent the use of the melody lines (and musical chord progression to match) from Neil Young's "Cortez the Killer" for the lead singer's melody and phrasing during the verses. And then, to rub salt into the wound, Ryszard's guitar solo note choices are also borrowed from the same song (though here slipping and sliding into many of David Gilmour's sounds and tricks--especially from "Comfortably Numb"). (12.75/15)

Total Time 47:49

I mean, it's good, solid rock, but it's nothing new or exciting and often feels "borrowed" or perhaps (to give Ryszard some credit) bled over from rote muscle memory (from many years of knowing and practicing Dave Gilmour's music and guitar solos). B/four stars; I have no doubt that this would be a nice addition to any NeoProg lover's music collection.

Latest members reviews

4 stars The return of the RYSZARD KRAMARSKI PROJECT with this sixth album in six years (difficult to do better and this is reminiscent of the mid-seventies), inspired by the literary work of HOMERE the extremely famous "The Odyssey", a single change and not the least we are now in the year 9999. Afte ... (read more)

Report this review (#2969012) | Posted by KansasForEver2 | Monday, November 20, 2023 | Review Permanlink

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