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Dah - Povratak CD (album) cover

POVRATAK

Dah

 

Heavy Prog

3.93 | 9 ratings

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Seyo
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Sometimes truly interesting rock music lies beyond the often banal and worn-out tags like "groundbreaking", "avant-garde", "mind-bending" or even "progressive"! Old, unearthed records that were overlooked, misunderstood or simply neglected by the public at the time of their recording or publishing have got a real treat to offer sometimes, if you are patient enough to listen to.

DAH spent several months of early 1975 in Belgium and Luxembourg where they released a hit-single "Shoshana" (sung in English) under the name LAND. The single was internationally released by Polydor and it enjoyed brief but important European-wide success. Upon return to Yugoslavia, obviously well-inspired by the international experience in Benelux (they even had a few gigs with Dutch prog legends FOCUS), DAH recorded their follow-up album "Povratak" ("The Return").

Instead of ambitious semi-prog structures "Povratak" offers a collection of strong, musically unpretentious but melodic and convenient rock songs. Performed mostly in a hard rock style, with elements of boogie, funk and jazz, the radio-friendly 3-4 minutes songs range from dynamic and power boogie of "Ko te sada ljubi" ("Who's Been Kissing You Now"), slow-rock ballad of "Sta je ljubav" ("What Is Love") where we hear important addition of Zlatko Manojlović's brother Goran on organ, fuzzed guitar riffs and percussion soli in "Na nebu mojih misli" ("In The Skies Of My Thoughts"), up to funky heavy prog of "Sahara". All of the songs are actually very good, concise, melodic and rocking hard as necessary. Zlatko's tenor voice is up to the standards here, without silly exhibitionism as was the case on the previous album "Veliki circus". International fans of RUSH, LED ZEPPELIN, DOOBBIE BROTHERS or WISHBONE ASH might do well to check this album. Two compositions slightly differ from the rest, though.

The above mentioned single "Sosana" is included in Serbo-Croat version here. It is a folk-based pop rock with typical Balkanian/Middle-Eastern rhythm pattern that was a popular hit in ex-Yugoslavia and even served at one time as a sort of "hippie anthem". Actually, I must confess that I only recently discovered the true origin of this song. It was recorded in 1957 in Hebrew as "Erev Shel Shoshanim" ("Evening of Roses") and for many years remained a popular love folk song. I was earlier covered by many notable pop singers such as Nana Mouskouri and Harry Belafonte. In DAH's interpretation it has a playful folk-rock touch.

Finally, the closing 8,5 minutes "Osećaj" ("The Feeling") is a true psychedelic/progressive composition. Starting with eerie organ and echoed cymbals, the songs brings a melancholic repetitive guitar chords that may remind fans of the influential Yugoslav post-wave alternative "art" rock band EKATARINA VELIKA and their excellent dark wave manifesto "Geto" from the album "Katarina II" (1984). There follows a heavy part with fiery guitars and weeping sound of what sounds like a synth (although it may be a guitar too) while Zlatko's vocals are emotional and natural.

Should I consider giving an overall rating between 3 and 4 stars, based on the fact that all the songs are good or very good but none truly excellent or masterpiece, then "Osećaj" would be an argument for higher mark. It is interesting to note that this song, albeit with slightly different title "Osećanja" ("Feelings"), was issued together with "Ko te sada ljubi" on A-side as Zlatko Manojlović's solo single in 1975, prior to the release of this album. Thumbs up!

PERSONAL RATING: 3,5/5

P.A. RATING: 4/5

Seyo | 4/5 |

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