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Roksana : Barwy - Absolutely Live

Were does one start with something so eccentric and whimsical as this rather unusual offering. Roksana Vikaluk is a very talented solo vocalist and keyboardist of border edge music that encompasses a diverse range of styles including Polish, Tatar, Ukrainian and Jewish folk themes. Although she was born in the Ukraine she has spent some considerable time in Poland and has even collaborated with Jozek Skrzek from SBB fame. Although she embraces many themes and ideas from Slavonic folklore I hear snippets of a very soft Kate Bush, Sarah Brightman, Erin Jacobsen, possibly Enya albeit without the Celtic influence but an appropriate and abbreviated similarity might be Suzanne Ciani with vocals.

At times the music is delightfully angelic as Roksana's voice is pure honey with lilting melodies, dreamy lyrics and a soft and mellow formula that works very well for her style of music. Occasionally, she deviates slightly and raises the bar a little but always returns to her gentler style that is very befitting for her voice. Her target audience might be a bit harder to pinpoint however as she is an artist whose name I have not heard of before and doubt too many people would have outside of Europe.

Played live in what seems to be a very small room and for a very intimate audience, her performance is never overpowering nor is it outrageously dazzling. Her songs enable the listener to appreciate the power and beauty of her voice but the extent to which these songs make a dramatic impression will be dependent on the listener's awareness of her cultural influences which are many and varied.

As many will be aware, Poland has unleashed some very good and intelligent music recently so it will be interesting to see how far this lady can travel before becoming a household name outside her own country. Being a soloist can never be easy unless extreme talent is evident upon first listen. While Roksana is undoubtedly talented in all of the crucial areas, I believe she would make a great contribution to a group of like minded artists whose musical tastes and influences match her own and lie on the softer side of the fence.

Track Details:

1. Intro (0.30)
2. Oh, Sleep (3.26)
3. Swim, You little swan (6.38)
4. In The Fields (3.20)
5. The Wedding Song (9.50)
6. The Stars (3.43)
7. The Lullaby (4.36)
8. Kolomykjy Folk Tunes Medley (2.56)
9. The Flying Dumka (5.48)
10. The Bona Mountain - The Gates (4.18)
11. At Our Lord (3.31)
12. On My Way Intro (1.12)
13. On My Way (3.01)
14. What Ivan Has (5.38)
15. Holy Father (4.17)

Added: May 14th 2006
Reviewer: Greg Cummins
Related Link: Roksana's Web Site
Hits: 2339
Language: english

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