Saturday, June 28, 2008


Billed as Slovakia's answer to Bob Dylan, this rather bold claim is, in fact, a rather presumptous and unfair comparison made mostly out of a combination of wishful thinking and bad billing. While Dylan was a genuine lyrical genius songwriter with an often biting wit, Yosepef's lilting folk and lush fingerpicking seems rather subdued by contrast. For the Western release of his first extended player, the artist was forced to learn English phonetically in a mere four days, and the result produced is a a kind of off-kilter, awkward delivery that only accentuates the strangeness of the music.

Yosepef Norageniskal's breezy, albeit heavily accented voice embraces the starry-eyed optimism and lushly ornate sound that characterizes a warm summer's day. Either that, or a soundtrack to an animated children's film from the 1960's.

With the hit singles, "Flowers in the Upside-Down Breeze", "A Cloak of Velvet Twilight", and "Embracing Your Vegetable Spirit", the album found a cult audience in Portland and Eugene, Oregon, but flopped massively in the rest of the United States, and for that matter, the rest of the English speaking world.

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