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Vera Bila releases new album "c'est comme ca"
20-06-2005 - Jan Velinger

Many fans of world music will already be familiar with the work of Vera Bila - one of the Czech Republic's finest Romany singers - who regularly tours major venues around the world: classic concerts have included Paris, New York, and Singapore. Now, Bila - and her group Kale - have released a new album. It has the French title "c'est comme ca" - "that's how it is" and from the first notes there is no mistaking the deep and earthy voice that made this Gypsy diva known worldwide.

The album kicks off with upbeat, fast-paced Spanish guitar in a song titled "Reviens, reviens" - with a tinge of heartache: "I met you in the street and my heart started top bleed, You are the reason of my pain when I saw you with her", balanced by the honest and even humorous plea - "Come back, come back to me, Even my mother will forgive you, and we'll love each other again".

In general, the album balances rich pathos against sweet and moving tones. Hope and pain are mixed in equal measure.

Vera Bila and Kale For example, "Dormez les enfants, dormez" - Sleep, children sleep - male vocals come to the fore in lament - "Sleep, children, sleep But don't ask to eat anymore, Your old mother is already in the black earth".

Vera Bila's most recent work is, as in the past, a rich collaboration with her band, and all members trade moments in the spotlight. The production values are the very best and individual voices and instruments all intertwine smoothly to create a bittersweet mosaic that will take you somewhere far beyond: in one's mind it is difficult not to imagine the scorched hills of a forgotten coast, the falling sun, and brilliant scenes from the Gypsy life.

Vera Bile & Kale, "c'est comme ca", 44:07, BMG Music 2005.

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