Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

BALVAL

Le Ciel Tout Nu

2011-01-01

Parisian gypsy band Balval )the name means "wind") is held together by lead vocalist Awena Burgess's emotive singing and excellent musicianship, especially from violinist Rosalie Hartog and extending to the rest of the band, including steel drums on a few numbers. The upbeat songs are the opener "Rodipen," "Kames? and "Na Kamav," although if you are patient, you'll be rewarded on initial slower mumbers like "Nina" (listen for the extended steel drum solo) and "La Pluie." The closer, "Cantique," is an intricate song that takes lyrical excerpts out of The Song of Solomon from the Old Testament. "Molin Molette" is a great instrumental (in which the steel drums make another appearance). Emotive -- and exquisite. 1/11 MJVD W-Gypsy

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