Saturday, December 09, 2006

Begging me to stay doesn't help it anyway

Vlad Topalov was one-half of popular Russian duo Smash!!; the other half was Sergey Lazarev, who I've featured here a couple of times before. Let me preface all this by saying that I don't know any Russian, so my sources for this information are fairly limited and could be unreliable--feel free to correct me on any of it! After Sergey left Smash!!, Vlad released one more album by himself still using the Smash!! name before releasing a solo album under his own name. The album, Lonely Star (all right, technically, I think it's title is Одинокая звезда, or Odinokaya Zvezda, but I'm going to refer to it as Lonely Star for simplicity's sake), is, unlike Sergey's, mainly in Russian. Though Lonely Star lacks a really stand-out, excellent track like Sergey's "Fake," I think it might be the better album overall, though it still seems to be missing something; often, the backing track is let down by a not-quite-interesting enough part for Vlad (for example, the strings in "Can't Take It" are nice--I was tempted to post it just because of how promising the first ten seconds are--but there's just nothing special about the sung part). Vlad has also been linked to one of the t.a.T.u. girls in the past.

Kinda Crazy--this song isn't really typical of the rest of the album at all, which tends to be more on the mid-tempo, pretty side. "Kinda Crazy" opts for a little more of an agressive attitude and, especially in the chorus, is a little rockier (or at least trying to be rocky). Besides the guitars in the chorus that seem to have been tossed in at the last minute, though, it's got some interesting orchestration and even gets a bit atmospheric in the middle 8. It's a typical "girl, I love you but I just can't take this anymore" song.

No More I'm Sorry--doesn't this song start out with potential? It's got quite the interesting, fun little beginning, and really, with that catchy little phrase repeating and then the entrance of the strings used in the song, I guess I'm willing to forgive it the lack of a really killer hook in the vocal part (and it is pretty cute as is; it just feels like it could be so much better). "No More I'm Sorry" is surprisingly sweet-sounding for a song all about breaking up with a girl.

Поднимусь высоко--maybe I just like Vlad's songs for the string parts in them. This is another case of some interesting ideas, but not enough of them. The title translates to something like "I Shall Rise Highly," and I suppose it does have a bit of a rising feel to it, especially with those strings (I know I'm mentioning them all the time, but they're far and away the best part of these songs--even though they wouldn't stand up without the vocals--and I really like that he uses them).

As for buying Vlad Topalov's album Lonely Star, I don't know my way around any Russian music stores, so the best I can recommend is that you check eBay, and point you in the direction of his official site.

Next up: I just found out a really surprising fact about a song I posted earlier, so I might write about that.


Digital Technique said...

Loving these songs - especially Kinda Crazy!! Really weird tho as I am writing my next post now on Sergey Lazarev - should have it posted later today or tomorow!!

Paul said...

ooh i feel cultured now. my previous knowledge of russia extended to knowing all the words to A Rumour In St Petersburg from the Anastasia cartoon movie :)

Anonymous said...

Wow !! Thx ! Love all of these songs !
Your french visitor :)

Poster Girl said...

Woah, strange! I wonder if your post about Alsou got me subconsciously thinking about Russia? Great post on Sergey, by the way--reading back over this post, not only do I come off as sort of negative about Vlad (and I quite like his album), I think I definitely underrated Sergey, too!

Awww...the Anastasia cartoon movie! I loved the song that played over the ending credits (I think it was), the Richard Marx and Donna Lewis duet.

Great--I'm so glad you like them! :) I wasn't sure how they would go over, so that's such a relief.