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S Vremena Na Vreme - Unplugged CD (album) cover


S Vremena Na Vreme


Prog Folk

4.91 | 4 ratings

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5 stars After excellent returning album "Posle kraja", S VREMENA NA VREME played several concerts and decided to record a live album in Novi Sad in early 1996. The title "Unplugged" although quite "modern" and trendy at the time (mid-1990s, one can remember a popular MTV series of such live performances) is actually a bit misleading. S VREMENA NA VREME are in fact mostly ACOUSTIC band on most of their previous releases, so to call it "unplugged" does not mean much really. Moreover, technically and strictly speaking, this album/performance contains electric bass and organ, so not everything is purely acoustic!

Aside from the technicality, "Unplugged" presents the band in their top form indeed. Djukic brothers, Sarvan and Ninkovic are masters of string instruments, harmony vocals, composition and lyrics. They are neither avant-garde nor experimental - they are artistic, emotion-filled and romantic. Therefore their sound can often be described more "pop" than "rock" in terms of accessibility on the first listen. However, when they are inspired, they can offer longer and improvised playing (as is the case with almost 10-minute version of "Cudno drvo") to satisfaction of the listeners of prog rock. The backing band of drummer Macura, bassist Bozanic and keyboardist Lokner is a strong support, which is no wonder because they are respected session musicians. Unlike her appearance on the studio album "Posle kraja", Marija Mihajlovic gives here much better vocal performance both as backing vocal and as lead in "Spavaj". Extended version of "Cudno drvo", with string sounds of sargija, prim, good melodic bass lines and short but effective keyboard solos is a prime example of "acoustic progressive folk rock". For those uninformed, "prim" sounds like mandolin, while "sargija" has a more "eastern" sound with sustained (drone) effect, like sitar for instance.

There are also hints of American folk-rock and country rock, like in "Vasar" with its Balkan low life/outlaw topic, "Moj svet" or like the name suggests "Dixieband". One can spot definite influences from artists such as Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Tom Petty, GRATEFUL DEAD (from their early 1970s country-rock phase), while some harmony arrangements are firmly rooted in THE BEATLES legacy.

Although these concerts promoted the latest studio album "Posle kraja", on this live set only one song "Spavaj" is taken from that album. The majority of tracks cover the old, mid-1970s period (the debut album and the singles collection "Moj svet") of the band when they were in top creativity condition. Special treat for fans is inclusion of an old song "Vreme" (Eng. "Time") which was not available on other releases. Komuna official release contains 11 tracks, but on the Internet one can find some mp3 versions with 13 songs. Two additional are: a classical hit from the debut album, "Tema Classica" and crowd-pleasing cover of Bob Dylan's "Knocking' On Heaven's Door", the latter being interesting to hear because the lead vocalist gives his best to sound like Dylan and he largely succeeds in doing that.

This excellent, fair, unpretentious, competent and emotional record is one of the best live albums issued on the territory of former Yugoslav republics. As such I can pronounce it a masterpiece of live recording of acoustic (progressive) folk rock, and this mark comes from the person not generally inclined to praise live albums.

Seyo | 5/5 |


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