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Fairy Tale: That Is The Question

The seed for Fairy Tale came from the bands creator Peter Kravec (Guitars, sound design, and anything else) during his college days, and although they never crossed my radar, the band has been making music in one form or another since 1995. The band has touches of neo-prog, pop, ambient, and vocalist bass guitarist Barbora Kolarikova often has a punk like approach in her delivery. The songs contain a variety of the elements I mentioned, but compositionally, they don’t mesh. My favorite track is the instrumental “Wise Men Keep Silent” as it seems to be the most cohesive song. “Sophie” is an 11+ minute track that gets messy as the stops and changes are choppy. This is Frankenstein songwriting to my ears. You can’t just put this piece here, and that piece there and expect it to work.

Kolarikova has an excellent voice, but I don’t care for the way she uses it. The production takes the life out of the performances, and although the music is well played, it often feels stiff. There are interesting musical moments, but the overall structures are convoluted, there is little in terms of “songs” here to my ears.

Track List:
1. Wasting the Sound 1
2. That is the Question
3. Time Heals Nothing
4. Wasting the Sound 2
5. Wake Up
6. Girl of the Opera
7. Wise Men Keep Silent
8. Wasting the Sound 3
9. Sophie
10. Dot

Added: September 10th 2022
Reviewer: Eric Porter
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 856
Language: english

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Fairy Tale: That Is The Question
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2022-09-10 21:43:54
My Score:

Just as with my esteemed colleague above, That is The Question is also my first encounter with Peter Kravec’s Slovakian band Fairy Tale. The man in question writes the music, the lyrics as well as handling guitars, ‘sound design’ and ‘anything else’, leaving Lubomir Pavelka to play drums, while singer Barbora Kolarikova also provides bass guitar.

Walking the thin line between being an EP and a full length album, That Is The Question feels both short and long. Blink and the briefer songs here flit by before you’ve regained focus and yet somehow on a ten track sub 35 minute release there’s still time for an eleven minute outing titled “SOPHIE”. That in itself makes for an awkward journey, with songs and ideas barely settling in place before something else comes along to grab the spotlight.

And yet, there’s still something here that I can’t help but be entranced by, that being Kolarikova, who is for me the star turn in Fairy Tale. At times she’s like a quirky little Bjork in the way she blurts out snappy lines of lyrics and at other moments she’s a really talented out and out singer - heck, she even tries her hand at a little opera during “Girl Of The Opera” and comes out the other side reasonably unscathed. The opening song proper “That Is The Question” (the album is punctuated by a handful of short, needless joining pieces that feel more about boosting the running time than embellishing the experience) sets out her stall immediately, with short, sharp breaths of vocals grabbing the attention and adding a quirky pop sheen to music that never quite settles on being prog or rock - the band call it ‘art-rock’, but it’s not what I expect from that tag. An unexpected slice of Pink Floyd meets Marillion arrives in the pleasingly languid “Wise Men Keep Quiet” instrumental, begging the question why we don’t get more in this style in the lyric driven pieces, and also disputing the need for the short songs strangling the evolution of the longer pieces. And yet, “SOPHIE”, that eleven minute track is, to me, the least rewarding on show as it jumps from scrap to scrap without much intention of sewing the patchwork together.

That Is The Question is a strange little release that feels almost as though it hasn’t been quite resolved in the way it should have before being recorded. However, there’s still enough here to keep Fairy Tale on my radar, although they do fall right at its very edge.

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