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My Name Is Janet - 2012 - "Red Room Blur"

(45:55, Gonzo Multimedia / Galileo Records)


***+
                 

TRACK LIST:   

1.  Tower of Babel 10:41
2.  Accidental Love 5:47
3.  On the Powerful Waves 2:34
4.  Cold Heaven 5:38
5.  Worlds Still Tragic 7:13
6.  Slave of Solitude 5:58
7.  Red Room Blue 3:24
8.  Babel 4:29

LINEUP:

Jim Aviva  vocals; keyboards
Eric Rauty  guitars, bass
Alexx  drums

Prolusion. MY NAME IS JANET is an international project-trio led by Jim Aviva which is yet another pseudonym of Russian keyboardist (multi-instrumentalist actually), singer and composer Dmitry Aviva Lukianenko, formerly of Aviva and Aviva Omnibus. The 46-minute Red Room Blur is the outfits first release, comprised of eight tracks. Does anyone know what the mans main nickname mean? I dont, albeit Im also a Russian.

Analysis. This is a rather strange album, especially bearing in mind that its primary songwriter, Jim :-), is a classically trained musician-pianist, whose previous work only concerns Symphonic Progressive and Classical music. Instead of the previous intricately layered keyboards we now have a rock guitar-dominated sound, with keyboards much less often playing first fiddle than ever before, filling a secondary role almost throughout Tower of Babel and Worlds Still Tragic alike. (The longest tracks on the record, they form two fifths of its contents.) Most of the music is in both cases built around chugging doom-metallish riffs, which are altered with a lighter guitar upon a more synth background, from time to time starting up metal and symphonic simultaneously. There are some keyboard, synthesizer and piano-laden, arrangements too; however, normally slow-paced, they arent too impressive, being simpler than most of the heavier ones. Besides, unlike the latter, which are normally accompanied by real singing, theyre often marred by a narration, the remark being relevant to a few of the other tracks. Although less dense structurally, appearing as a hybrid of traditional heavy metal, alternative rock and electronic-symphonic arrangements, Red Room Blue and Babel are both in many ways similar to the above two songs, vocally also embracing conventional rock singing, something more monotonous without a vivid melodic message in delivery and, hmm, a narration. One may say that Accidental Love and On the Powerful Waves (which never shifts in pace, BTW) find the trio trying to experiment with a more unusual atmosphere, whereas to my mind, theyve just sacrificed Heavy Metal to rap in both cases. Much of the time the pieces live on the mean, dull recitative plain no one self-respecting rock band would dare be so bold, so devoid of sense, as to sing so. To say that these chanted, rap-like vocals grate upon the ears is to say almost nothing. Hey Aviva, wanna make your music more fashionable? Still recalling Body Count and their remote glory? But theyve already gone out of fashion along with rap itself. After all, English isnt your first language, you know? It would be wrong to say that the album goes downhill from there, especially since Ive already described some of the subsequent tracks. Anyhow, the remaining two songs, Cold Heaven and Slave of Solitude, arent my cup of tea either, both pretty sugary ballads with some metallic overtones, the latter influenced by Queen.

Conclusion. Compared to any of Avivas previous releases, this one comes across as a poor experiment, a failed attempt to unite Sympho-Prog with musical stylings that were fashionable in former times be it rap or e-music, Alternative or Heavy Metal. Gone are intricate arrangements and a truly progressive musical evolution. Instead, the man leans more toward a pop-metal approach, with melodic hooks aplenty and somewhat cliched lyrics, often referring to the Bible.

VM=Vitaly Menshikov: September 13, 2012
The Rating Room


Related Links:

Gonzo Multimedia
Galileo Records
My Name Is Janet


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