As a member of the bombastic Russian band Siberian Heat, Elen Cora and her band mates take control of your mind, makes your body move, sweeps you off your feet and takes you blissfully off to the dance floor for non-stop unapologetic dancing. But Elen Cora's solo album, "House of Cards" demands that before you hit the dance floor you sit still and listen. Listen to the songs, their lyrics, listen to the textured layered melodic music; listen to the vocals mixed with dance rhythms and electronics. You must listen to the tracks on House Of Cards because the music does not overpower the lyrics, the stories they tell or the messages they send.
House Of Cards as it packed with songs about the expectations, growth and changes that can occur within the sometimes tenuous relations between lovers. Elen speaks directly to this in the eurodance track "Time After Time," when she asks the question, who will we be, what will we be after several years together, will we even be together? "Tightrope Dancer" marvels at a lover juggling romance and anything else life throws their way, yet always in control, or is this person actually the controlling type? All the while beautiful pop melodies walk a successful tightrope balancing act between lyrics and dance electronica. "Miles Away" is about lovers who are separated by distance, but with that eerie space music sound created by something that sounds like a theremin, Miles Away sounds absolutely other worldly, giving the impression that the lovers are not just separated by geographical distance, but emotional distance as well. They may actually be worlds or galaxies apart with no hope of bridging the enormous cosmic gap between them. Speaking of the cosmos there is the electronic thrill ride "Astronomers in China" a song that gives you a history lesson in ancient Chinese science while you bask in frenetic electronics. As time goes by do we remain the same persons that we were when we first met our lovers? Well with the ABBA sounding track "No Less No More" Elen seems to think that we don’t change, but as she sings it sounds as if she is trying to convince herself of this lack of personal change and growth and not really believing herself. "Powerful Little Things" sounds a little like a Modern Talking tune only the song has more lyrical depth than anything MT has ever produced. It's about the seemingly unimportant little things that can destroy a relationship. Destroying a relationship brings me to the track "Drama," wow, what a song. Elen sings that if her lover doesn't say or do the right things it could lead to drama. I've always been wary of drama queens (too much over-the-top emotion) so my imaginative mind immediately thought of William Holden's Joe Gillis and the insane drama Gloria Swanson's Norma Desmond inflicted upon him in the classic film Sunset Boulevard. Elen sings that she can't get someone she met out of her head and wishes someone would "Tell Me Why." It's a beautiful song with a surf sun sand tropical island paradise feel. You know, somewhere you would go on holiday and would have a summer fling with someone that you can't forget when you return home.
I mentioned a couple of Elen Cora’s House Of Cards tracks that reminded me of ABBA and Modern Talking. But who Elen really makes me think of is 80's pop singer Kim Carnes. No, Elen doesn't possess the raspy voice like Kim Carnes, she remind me of Ms. Carnes in the execution of her music. Kim Carnes was a pop music electronic pioneer because before synthesizers became fashionable in pop music they played a large role in many of her pop songs like "Bette Davis Eyes," "Invitation To Dance," "Crazy In The Night," "Voyeur," and "Abadabadango." Kim Carnes used synthesized dance rhythms but they never overpowered her music or its lyrical content. Kim Carnes was considered an artist, she was never categorized as a dance artist, even though at lot of her works (those mentioned above) were so synthesized and danceable. Like Kim Carnes I believe that Elen Cora's House Of Cards will be the work that will define Elen Cora simply as an artist, as House Of Cards is the perfect artistic blend of synth pop, electronica, Italo, pop, eurodisco, engaging intelligent lyrics, and storytelling.
© 2013 Rix Roundtree-Harrison
Written By: Rix Roundtree-Harrison
Howdy folks, I just want to let you guys know something exciting is going to happen next month. I have a book (my first) coming out on June 13th titled "The Older You Get, The Dumber You Get: Stories For My Daughters." Those of you who have been reading my Life Is Music pieces will recognize a few of the stories which are thrown in with never before told stories. When "The Older You Get, The Dumber You Get: Stories For My Daughters” is released please pick it up a copy, you may like it. It's got some of everything including bigotry, sexism, racism, sex, drugs, rock 'n roll, and to quote Jed Clampett “swimming pools, movie stars.”
Artist Link: http://www.polozovs.com/