|Two pertinent questions: Would Grebenshikov (lets just call him Boris) ever have
gotten a deal with a major American label if he wasnt Russian? And given that he is
Russian, does this record offer any kind of insights into his culture?
The appeal of the
album goes beyond Boris nationality, and even beyond David Stewarts rich yet
tasteful production. Boris himself, formerly the leader of the noted Moscow underground
band Aquarium, brings some real talent of his own to the project, particularly a deft
writing touch that in a few peak moments could stand comparisons to Peter Gabriel.
But other than his accent and several Russian lyrics, there are few direct connections
to the Soviet Union to be found. Of course, that sure beats the glasnost-pandering
indulged in by many lesser Iron Curtain acts trying to exploit the current climate. And in
the long run his images of fear and love are much more evocative (as well as universal)
than specifically Russian references could have been.