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Lighten up



Chiki liki tu-a
Choďte sa hrať pred vlastný vchod
Published by: Millenium Records
Price: Sk299
Available at: www.drhorak.com
IN THE world of rock and pop music, far too often bands take themselves too seriously. Make no mistake: Pop music is an art form and should be treated as such, but too often musicians buy into their own hype, focusing more on the image they feel they must uphold, or trying so hard to make "important music" or "serious artistic statements" that they forget about the sheer joy and spontaneity that inspired them to make music in the first place.



Chiki liki tu-a
Choďte sa hrať pred vlastný vchod
Published by: Millenium Records
Price: Sk299
Available at: www.drhorak.com


IN THE world of rock and pop music, far too often bands take themselves too seriously. Make no mistake: Pop music is an art form and should be treated as such, but too often musicians buy into their own hype, focusing more on the image they feel they must uphold, or trying so hard to make "important music" or "serious artistic statements" that they forget about the sheer joy and spontaneity that inspired them to make music in the first place. Fortunately, Prešov's Chiki liki tu-a seems to have no such pretensions.

As evidenced by the group's latest album, Choďte sa hrať pred vlastný vchod (Go and Play at Your Own Door), many different types of pop music inspire them. They gleefully jump into and between them at will and, if people like it, well that's alright too.

The album starts off very well with the laid-back country stroll of Láska moja de si (Where Are You My Love), a song similar in spirit (and guitar line) to The Beatles' What Goes On or some of Paul McCartney's more playful late-period Beatles work (think Rocky Raccoon).

The most frequent, but least interesting, style the band uses is a sort of sloppy white-boy funk, somewhat reminiscent of early Red Hot Chili Peppers, but replacing the hip-hop with bits of the ska-punk of the mid/late '90s. Luckily, the band has too short an attention span to continue in this vein for too long.

Though it has vocals, My sme mladí optimisti (We Are Young Optimists) summons the ghosts of the grittiest of early instrumental rock and roll, with its slowly pounding rhythm, rumbling guitar, and noirish sax solo. Zuza, sorry follows, going into decidedly more central European territory... almost: polka by way of 1980s synth pop.

Another highlight is the brief Na chatu (To the Cottage), which nicely uses that rarest of rock instruments, the tuba, to create a sort of hardcore-loving mini-marching band.

The album's most surprising moment, though, is Ďakujem (Thank You), which begins with an unassuming piano melody that could be the intro to Robbie Williams' latest hit. Instead, the song becomes an unabashed '80s hair metal ballad. It's the sort of unapologetic excess that, contrary to your better judgement, you just have to surrender to.

Chiki liki tu-a will certainly not start any rock and roll revolution. But, no matter: they're too busy having fun.

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