Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

BARANOVSKI “Escapes and Returns”: To dance and to pray the rosary

“Escapes and Returns” Certainly, as a whole, they are not a major surprise for fans of Baranovski’s work. The musician did not decide on any extreme stylistic changes. It’s still music that combines the characteristic slightly male overground with hit music, suspended somewhere between nu-disco and indie pop. There were even those who once tried to call this type of music dance rock, but it’s just a good album full of potential hits.

It’s not without reason that singles did quite well. “August” it’s a song with a strong bass, but smiling towards a wider audience, which no one will probably turn off when it appears. It’s also hard not to bitch about it “Joker” with a distinct disco vibe sonically placed somewhere between Motown from the turn of the 70s and 80s and Dua Lipa’s “Future Nostalga”. In addition, lines such as “Today Lucy is in the diamond / She has a sweet and sour taste / There are people under pressure / So the exit is English” prove the host’s skillful pen and quite skillful winks towards “those who understand”. In a functioning one “I want to be myself” you can feel a bit of a “small-town” atmosphere, even in terms of vocal delivery. But this formula is so pleasant that it is difficult to complain about it in any way.

On most albums, the stylistic amplitudes are really small. How “Monsters and demons” oscillate somewhere between Dawid Podsiadło and the garage-distorted Vistula funko-blues of Mróz, so “Rocket” it could even be considered the latter’s work.

But it is the deviations that are most intriguing. The title “Escapes and Returns” musically leans strongly towards synthwave – it is music of the purple sun flowing over the pixelated Californian horizon. In massive retrowave sounds “Sparks” in turn, Daria Zawiałow from the times of “Wars and Nights” is clearly missing. Beginning the album “I’m having fun” it captivates you with its funky energy, both in the forward-driven music, the strong rhythm section and the host’s feisty vocals.

However, it is difficult for me to convince myself of this “Armistice”. I’ll say it straight: it’s a song that doesn’t fulfill its role as a reflective moment at all. I perfectly understand the concept of the song about great ideas, the desire to save the whole world by starting from yourself and considering love as the answer to all the world’s problems. But cramming big words into a surprisingly naive text, phrased to a piano intended to outline the shapes of an inspired song, is definitely too much. And as I had previously praised Baranovski’s ability to have a good pen, this was the moment when the ink spilled onto the paper, obscuring the essence of the problem.

So much for the music, but it is necessary to mention the host’s vocals. This one is extremely flexible. Seriously, sometimes it’s hard to believe that exactly the same person is behind the microphone all the time. At one moment he makes a slightly bluesy rasp, at another time he goes lower, as if he were racing with Kortez on these lower tones (although not crawling through the music, like the author of “Teach Me to Dance” on the last album), and then surprises with slightly more dreamlike moments, until you finally climb high and clean. Seriously, I have the impression that Baranovski will do anything behind the microphone. Even if not everything works, because this spoken-word, almost rapped moment in “Armise” brings back unpleasant memories of the times when rappers talked about what was important in political campaigns (wink, wink).

But I’m complaining because I have to, so that you don’t always feel so nice and pleasant. And do you know what I predict for Baranovski? More successes on the music scene. Because seriously, it’s a good album where, in most cases, you’re able to separate the song from the context of its presence among other songs on the album and you just get a decent single. It’s definitely some art.

BARANOVSKI, “Escapes and Returns”, Warner Music Polska