Czech "nightingale" buries zombie with new release

01-12-2004

No other Czech singer has dominated so solidly and for so long as Czech nightingale Karel Gott. At 65, Mr Gott remains enormously popular both in the Czech Republic and abroad, notably in Germany and Russia. Now Karel Gott has released a new album - called "Muj strazny andel" - "My Guardian Angel", which even the singer himself is calling his best so far.

Karel Gott with his new album 'My Guardian Angel', photo: CTKKarel Gott with his new album 'My Guardian Angel', photo: CTK Karel Gott is back. But, that in itself is not surprising. Like a pop industry Schwarzenegger, the singer has proven his resilience again and again over the years, sometimes attracting strong words from his detractors, such as when he was labelled 'a zombie' by one of his critics not so long ago. But, the fact remains that Mr Gott has managed to stay at the top his game for more than 45 years, thanks to a phenomenal voice. On "My Guardian Angel", full of the requisite love songs and pop ballads, he makes best use of it by showing he is unafraid to poke a little fun at himself.

Mr Gott can rest assured his many fans - never impressed with the zombie label - will get the joke, when he croons "I'm a zombie who made his bones on Abbey Road", "I'm lifting back the lid of the marble sarcophagus", all on the track titled "They've Buried Me a Hundred Times".

In the past Mr Gott may have been criticised for everything from bad taste, to sidling up to the former regime, to simply refusing to give up, but throughout his popularity as a singer has never suffered a dint. Nor should it, as Mr Gott seems to have proven to be versatile enough to reach newer audiences all the time: through his use of humour, his willingness to team up with younger talent like a recent Pop Idol contestant, and no small measure of continuing camp appeal.

In short, all have helped Karel Gott secure a reputation as one of the most talented singers this country has ever produced.

01-12-2004