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Little Tragedies (Russia) - 2000/2001 - "Sun of the Spirits"
(46 min, "Boheme Music")


*****+

Tracklist:

1. A Parrot

2. The Sorceress

3. I Dreamt

4. A Book Reader

5. Thoughts

6. Spring Forest

7. Post Clerk

8. Sun of the Spirits



All music by G. Ilyin. All lyrics by N. Gumilyov.

Engineered by Eugene Shtchukin.



Line-up:

Gennady Ilyin - keyboards, vocals

Igor Mikhel - guitars

Prologue. "Sun of the Spirits", the second Little Tragedies album, continues a specific conception based on an obvious spiritual connection between the composer Gennady Ilyin and the poetry of Nikolay Gumilyov (For details see review on the debut Little Tragedies album "Porcelain Pavilion") This year, now as a real band (quintet in which one of the newcomers is a trombonist, - in addition to the traditional "line-up formula" of a Rock band), Little Tragedies work on the third album of the trilogy again based on the poetry of N. Gumilyov.

The Album. Although "Sun of the Spirits" was again performed by the two same musicians that featured the "Porcelain Pavilion" CD this is a more mature album in all senses. First off, all arrangements shine here with wonderful diversity. That happens thanks to a different "structural" approach to the process of composing of every separate composition, as well as to the frequent changes of a lot of different mini-pieces the album throughout. "Sun of the Spirits" contains a lesser number of bright keyboards solos and this music, on the whole, is more focused on reflecting the poet's emotions in detail, which are plenty in each verse of Gumilyov. Another positive point is that now, unlike the first album, it becomes impossible to know 'in advance' when another vocal part should begin. The same goes for Ilyin's vocal parts that sound much more diversely on "Sun of the Spirits" than they did before. Another one good factor is that Mikhel this time got more room for his own arrangements, and his electric guitar's riffs and moves support Ilyin's keyboard passages, roulades and solos especially often. A whole palette of the music of Little Tragedies became now as full of change as any place in the dangerous "Zone" from the elitist movie "The Stalker" (by Andrey Tarkovsky) that was based on the Strugatsky Brothers' scenario written on the motifs of their own novel "A Picnic On the Roadside" (this is that rare case when a (180-minute long) film turned to be much more profound and interesting than the original novel).

Summary. Generally, "Sun of the Spirits", unlike the "Porcelain Pavilion" album, enchants the listener with a lot of new ideas and with really diverse, complex and very interesting arrangements, though the dominating moods on this album are sorrow and anxiety - these eternal heralds of tragedy. Drama is the word. A complex, thoughtful and very deep drama is being performed on "Sun of the Spirits". There are also a lot of wonderful acoustic episodes on this album that couldn't sound so vivid and touching being supported by a 'live' rhythm-section, so this time I just have to shut my eyes on the absence of the latter and, this way, I honestly consider the second Little Tragedies album a real masterpiece.

VM. July 10, 2001


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