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CzesŁaw Niemen - Ode To Venus CD (album) cover


CzesŁaw Niemen

Eclectic Prog

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4 stars I regard this album as Niemen´s best work i heard to date. It features keyboardist Josef Skrzek who next year on would start the great Polish band S.B.B. Together with Niemen the band creates a mix of very original progrock with lots of twists and turns musically. Influences from Gentle Giant and other Polish prog (S.B.B later albums) at the time are noticeable, still Niemen is to me the wizard of Polish rock and this album is evidence of that.
Report this review (#117701)
Posted Monday, April 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars I was 'cleaning' my library's database from hundreds of useless vinyls when I came across this album. I checked NIEMEN's inclusion on ProgArchives - the album looked that proggy! - and decided to give it a chance to be found by library users from PIKI library net around Tampere, Finland. So the least I must do is give it a review*.

NIEMEN was a Polish band named after the singer, who is praised in the backcover texts as a phenomenal talent and ambassador of Eastern Europe's rock. Coincidentally my only Polish prog encounter before this was an SBB album: as the lonely review of this album informs, SBB was founded the very next year by Jozef Skrzek (organ, el. piano, bass) of NIEMEN. These eight compositions are rock with heavy tendencies, some more spacy and philosophical than others, but clearly rougher than the more sensitive SBB. Keyboards, namely dark-toned organ, are not leaving guitar and energetic rhythm section in their shadow, as I had somehow expected/hoped. All except the short 'Rock For Mack' feature the beastlike vocals of Mr. Niemen. He reminds a bit of ARTHUR BROWN, though not quite that maniac and operative style. In all, a strong work, likely to please friends of ballsy prog rock with the vintage sound of early seventies, but somehow also easy to forget, at least by me.

(*PS: Recently I have practically stopped reviewing here, due to some changes in my life. I myself was surprised by the sudden loss of, not just suitable time, but also interest: I had a long list of less seen artists to review. But maybe I'll have another active PA phase in future. Greetings to you all! Keep on proggin'.)

Report this review (#147789)
Posted Sunday, October 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Czesław Niemen was one of the most important rock musicians in Poland. He had a huge influence on other artists even from younger generations. He was famous for his great voice and original approach to music.

I have to admit that for years, when I was at school, I associated this musician only with nice, easy listening, short songs which you can still hear on the Polish radio. I was really surprised when I got his ambitious album 'Enigmatic'. It was a beginning of my journey through his discography. I had already known some of SBB albums (legendary prog-rock Polish trio) and I thought that it would be great if Niemen could make an album with the musicians from SBB. And then one day my friend gave me 'Ode to Venus' album, indeed recorded by these musicians together in 1973! I was stunned! To me it soon became one of the best albums of the seventies released in this part of Europe. Unfortunately, 'Ode to Venus' remained unknown even in Poland. The Iron Curtain effectively made promotion and export of central and eastern European works almost impossible. I believe that if this album had been recorded in the UK, it would have been as well-known as the albums of the best prog-rock groups.

I highly recommend 'Ode to Venus' as well as other marvellous albums by Niemen: 'Enigmatic' and 'Strange is this world'.

4 and a half star.

Report this review (#207574)
Posted Tuesday, March 17, 2009 | Review Permalink

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