Russkaja - Kosmopoliturbo
Napalm Records
Chanson / Ska / Jazz / Folk
10 songs ()
Release year: 2017
Napalm Records
Reviewed by Alex

I guess I have earned myself a label of Russkaja expert here on, so I am just going to have to continue with this tag and review their latest album Kosmopoliturbo.

Just like leopards don’t change their spots Russkaja is sticking with their blend of chanson/ska/jazz/and_everything_else to create one entertaining package. The first spin through Kosmopoliturbo had me hesitating just for a second that the album is not as catchy as its predecessor Peace, Love & Russian Roll, but that premature judgment had to be quickly withdrawn even on the second time through. Kosmopoliturbo is just as full of hooks, delectable and addictive, so after a week with the album you would have to pry it out of my hands and my car player (my family, they always like to know what the next thing is that Russkaja concocted, and a few other people, who heard the band for the first time, are in full agreement).

The musical approach on Kosmopoliturbo did not change much from Peace, Love & Russian Roll. Crisp clean production, trademark velvety scratchy manly upfront vocals by Makazaria, simple but playful rhythms, and clever spot incorporation of brass section and violin (Alive, Mare Mare) allow focusing on specific melodic hooks and the message contained in every song. On that front Russkaja are maintaining the live&let live attitude, so Kosmopoliturbo provides for an extremely uplifting atmosphere and the feeling that in the end everything will be alright. With Kosmopoliturbo though, the band showcases their countries’ transcending nature, composing (not covering) songs in many languages, introducing melodic hooks representative of many countries and cultures. I guess that is where the “Kosmopolit” part of the album comes in. There is tango on the opening hit Hey Road, Hungarian chardash and Jewish 7:40 dance on Alive. Kitchen joke Chef de Cuisine is also full of Jewish bazaar references. Still in Love is almost calming, whereas Hello Japan is crazed Japanese polka and Cheburaschka is just as crazed Moldavian jok dance, pretty heavy and pushy, while the song is really about a Soviet cartoon character we all grew up with. Volle Kraft Voraus is German/Gypsy/Yiddish, and Genghis Khan would be proud of the melodic shivers this song delivers. Mare Mare is Italian Toto Cutugno, or better yet Adriano Chelentano after a shot or two. La Musica is another certifiable hit, this one in Spanish, and every time Russkaja goes in that direction something magical happens (El Pueblo Unido from Peace, Love & Russian Roll was a success). The closer Send You an Angel is a ballad that for some reason reminded me of the Soviet composer Pakhmutova and feel good songs that decrepit USSR Politburo loved to hear in the annual “Pesnya (Song) of the Year” concert at every year end. So, there is your Politurbo part of the album title, since Russkaja wants to be known as turbopolka, the genre occupied exactly by one delegate.

Whatever images Russkaja fast revolving kaleidoscope of an album spins out in its 40+ minutes, most importantly, all of the songs maintain a decidedly sunny outlook on life. This album is an absolute refresher. Not metal at all, all of us need moments like that given the world we live in, where serious, depressive, and sometimes completely grim often is a reality.

Killing Songs :
Hey Road, Volle Kraft Voraus, La Musica, Send You an Angel
Alex quoted 89 / 100
Other albums by Russkaja that we have reviewed:
Russkaja - Peace, Love & Russian Roll reviewed by Alex and quoted 85 / 100
Russkaja - Energia! reviewed by Alex and quoted 79 / 100
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