Lebowski - Cinematic - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Lebowski - Cinematic

by Rich Morris Rating:6 Release Date:2012-04-26

Cinematic, the debut album by Polish progressive rock band Lebowski, mixes Pink Floyd-style AOR prog with metal riffing and a 90s electronica sensibility which variously recalls The Orb, Portishead and (gulp!) Enigma. It's... Well, it's certainly not cool but it is frequently interesting. Which is fortunate because the tracks on Cinematic are loooong, a few of them topping seven minutes, and the music often wonders through different sections with little feeling of coherence.

Indeed, while I like much of this album, it's almost impossible to nominate a particular track as outstanding, since each one has arresting and enjoyable parts alongside long stretches during which I feel I could comfortably go and make a cup of tea without missing much. That said, the mixture of liquid Mick Karn bass with ambient guitar and piano on 'The Storyteller (Svensson)' is exceedingly beautiful, while the dramatic string stabs, 60s spy flick guitar and Gainsbourg vocals on 'Encore' make for an absorbing listen.

Parts of Cinematic, for example the MOR synth chug of 'Aperitif for Breakfast (O.M.R.J.)' puts one in mind of the less experimental moments of Klaus Schulze or Tangerine Dream, which, again, may not be cool, but is likeable if you have a soft spot for them, as I do. I'm less keen on the rawk riffing and noodling which rears up on almost every track. It's not to my personal taste but it also just feels superfluous. It really adds nothing to music this subtle and shifting except to make it sound like one of those Music of the Wolves or whatever CDs you see sold in crystal-incense-hippy-dippy shops.

Unfortunately, this does mean I find it hard to enjoy the entirety of any one track. A shame, because there really is much to recommend this album. I would describe it as a curate's egg if that wasn't a misuse of the term.

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