A number of years ago the Czech band Krystof - led by frontman Richard Krajco - broke onto the Czech pop scene with their first album "Magneticke Pole" (Magnetic Fields), their single "Lolita" bringing them overnight success. Since then, the band has released four more albums, including the critically acclaimed "Mikrokosmos". But, none was perhaps more anticipated than its latest "Rubikon", which some Czech critics are already calling one of Krystof's best. The lead single has climbed to third spot on the charts (in popular TV music programme Eso) and it's now getting a fair amount of rotation.
What is "Rubikon" like? In a few words, a catchy pop album mixing a number of influences and genres, built on clean and crisp production, and various melodic phrases. One of the more memorable songs is "Revizor", which features driving vocals and of all things Mexican-style horns and a very catchy beat that spiral though the song. In short, it's a playful corker designed to get people on their feet, and Krajco's singing ranges from a low whisper to an all-out cry.
Other notable tracks then include "Snehurky", the title track "Rubikon", and "Jizda v protismeru" - loosely translatable as "Driving in the oncoming lane" - as in driving against oncoming traffic. Of what is on offer, this song is arguably the most brooding and most lyrical on the CD, in which Krajco, for example, sings about "what he knows". A rough approximation of some of the lines could include "knowing ...hunger and satiation, dead eyes in the morning while shaving... surprise that was and no longer is... the secret of pointless conversations..." but also "the end of games played until exhaustion..." and "regret that snaps bones...".
Of all the tracks, this most reflects the much-publicised collapse of Krajco's marriage to singer and model Iva Fruhlingova and at some moments the words are sung almost in stinging accusation; at others they are weary.
On the other hand, on the whole this remains a rare foray into the more sombre, one of the CD's only darker "descents". On the whole, "Rubikon" can be viewed as a fairly light pop CD, full of bright and bouncy moments that ask for repetition. For many Krystof fans that's likely to be more than enough.
You can find out more about Krystof and upcoming tour dates at
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