The Ryszard Kramarski Project-Books That End In Tears

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Review: Erik Neuteboom

This is a Polish formation that was founded by multi-instrumentalist Ryszard Kramarski, also prime mover of the popular Polish progrock band Millenium. It is the fifth effort, since the debut CD entitled Music Inspired By The Little Prince from 2017. The new album Books That End In Tears is based upon four ‘cult’ books: Lord Of The Flies from William Golding, The Trial from Franz Kafka, and Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm, both from George Orwell. The current line-up features Ryszard Kramarski (keyboards and acoustic guitars), Marcin Kruczek (guitars), Grzegorz Fieber (drums and percussion), Krzysztof Wyrwa (bass) and on vocals Karolina Leszko on CD, and Dawid Lewandowski on CD2 (same music on CD 1 and 2, but with two different singers).

  1. Lord of the Flies (12:23) : After a very Pink Floyd-like dreamy intro a slow rhythm follows with pleasant female vocals, in a mellow atmosphere. Halfway the music turns into more lush and dynamic featuring a mid-tempo with a flashy synthesizer runs, followed by a long and moving guitar solo, in the wonderful tradition of David Gilmour, Andy Latimer and Nick Barrett, I love it. Then a part with hypnotizing exotic percussion and spoken words, and finally dreamy Neo-Prog with pleasant vocals and twanging guitars. To me this sounds as Pink Floyd inspired music, blended with typical Polish Neo-prog, very melodic and harmonic, with an important role for the element emotion.
  2. The Trial (11:07) : This dynamic compositions starts with a mid-tempo and a tight beat, coloured by howling guitar runs, often in a bombastic atmosphere. Then emotional female vocals join, culminating in a heavy wah-wah drenched guitar solo, the combination of the guitar and female vocals is wonderful, with strong emotional overtones. Halfway the music shifts to dreamy with a melancholical undertone, and sensitive Gilmourian guitar leads. In the final part an eruption with heavy wah-wah guitar and, ominous keyboards, and propulsive drums (The Wall by Pink Floyd comes to my mind), concluded with emotional female vocals.
  3. Nineteen Eighty-Four (12:58) : The atmosphere is dreamy, with a slow rhythm, the guitar and vocals colour the music wonderfully with emotion. Then spacey synthesizer flights, and a Gilmourian guitar solo with soaring keyboards, this is Neo-Prog Heaven, beautiful, ‘trademark’ Polish Neo-Prog! Halfway an exciting break with propulsive drums and fiery and howling guitar runs, again The Wall by Pink Floyd comes to my mind. In the final part lots of flowing shifting moods, from dreamy with piano to bombastic eruption with howling guitar, wonderful and compelling.
  4. Animal Farm (11:48) : In a mellow climate with a tight beat the guitar and female vocals colour the music with strong Pink Floyd hints. Halfway dreamy guitar work, melancholical vocals, and soaring keyboards, then an excellent break with a heavy wah-wah drenched Gilmourian guitar solo, supported by tight beats. Next a mid-tempo with powerful female vocals and piano runs. In the final part another moving guitar solo in a wonderful compelling Neo-Prog atmosphere, concluded with tender piano and dreamy vocals, a bit melancholical.

I am familiar with all four books (high school literature), The Lord Of The Flies and Animal Farm are even in my Top 10 of favourite novels. Listening to this album I conclude that the band has done a good job, especially the guitar and vocals. The male singer sounds a bit more melancholical, matching a bit better with the books. But in my opinion the music could have been a bit more dark and agressive at some moments, especially Lord Of The Flies and Animal Farm. Because these two books are here the best metaphors for the dark side of the human being, in the past, now, and in the future, because we do not seem to be able to change that….