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ANNA SERAFINSKA ~ GADU GADU (SPECIAL EDITION)
POMATON 5099944044626 (Barcode: 5099944044626) ~ POLAND ~ Pop & Rock

Recorded: 2005 - 2012 Released: 2012

This is the fourth album by Polish Jazz / Pop singer Anna SerafinskaFind albums by this artist. It includes fourteen songs, all of which feature the lyrics by the great Polish poetess and lyricist Agnieszka OsieckaFind albums by this artist. The music was composed mainly by Seweryn KrajewskiFind albums by this artist (ex-Czerwone GitaryFind albums by this artist), one of Poland´s most remarkable songwriters. The other composers include several leading Polish Jazz figures like Zbigniew NamyslowskiFind albums by this artist, Wlodzimierz NahornyFind albums by this artist, Jan Ptaszyn WroblewskiFind albums by this artist and others. The music was arranged by Krzysztof HerdzinFind albums by this artist, who also plays piano and other musicians include bassist Adam KowalewskiFind albums by this artist (who plays some mean fretless bass parts), drummer Krzysztof GradziukFind albums by this artist and many others, as well as a string quartet. The original album was released in 2006 and this special edition, released in 2012, adds two songs newly recorded with Anna´s new group called Groove MachineFind albums by this artist.

The album has a great potential and seemingly all the right ingredients: first-class songs, wonderful lyrics, skilful arrangements and excellent musicianship, and yet although it is pleasant and overall enjoyable, it is also quite forgettable. Stylistically it sort of "sits on the fence" between Pop and Jazz, being both too close to Pop to be considered Jazz and too Jazzy to be a straightforward Pop. Herdzin´s arrangements push it consistently towards Latin grooves and mainstream Jazz settings, but the result is all over the place and feels somehow uneasy.

I understand that Serafinska has quite a following in Poland, but this is the second album of hers that I listened to and she leaves me stone cold. Fortunately she sticks to Polish lyrics on this album, avoiding the problems of struggling with a foreign language, but her vocals simply don´t do it for me, which of course is completely my fault. In my ears her vocal range is somewhat limited and the emotional expressiveness just doesn´t cut it for me (again), although she does have a good feel for groove, which explains what she does with her new band.

Of course there are some superb moments here and the album is a nice listening experience, which can be enjoyed by many listeners across the genre borders. I sort of hoped it would be more than that.
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