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Collage - Baśnie CD (album) cover





3.59 | 134 ratings

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3 stars The debut by Collage only shows hints of what the band would become on their ultimate classic "Moonshine", but the presence of Mirek Gil on guitars provides much of that clean, emotional "more Hackett than Hackett" sensibility that would permeate the group throughout their all too brief run. Basnie is a dark neo prog album, that quality only enhanced by the vocals in their native tongue by Tomek Rozycki.

The production is somewhat muddled, and at times, such as on the slightly disappointing title track, the overall impact of the piece is blunted by a running scared type of pace. At times, such as on "Ja I Ty", this quality is wholly successful, as the song is built on a simple yet profound riff. In Kolysanka we hear a nascent "Living in the Moonlight". A few steps and bridges are missing to keep it from attaining that level of impact. "Dalej Dalej" is another highlight, with the vocals, keyboards and guitars all firing in sync. These succinct statements by Collage should embarrass the biggest names in neo prog with their generally bloated and essentially unimaginative musical storylines. Rozycki's wordless chants also add to the melancholy feel of the piece.

"Fragmenty" has hints of what would become "The Blues" through several incarnations, until the surprisingly Asian sounding segment near the end. The album closer, "Rozmowa", features another spine tingling Mirek Gil solo in an otherwise fairly ordinary tune. These types of twists are part of what made Collage a worthwhile musical investment from day 1, warts and all. Some might even prefer this album to Moonshine based on its less polished sound and more subtle melodies. I am not among this group, but Basnie is an album that begins the fairy tale story of Collage, a tale worth telling and hearing in any language.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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