An Unfinished Story
(Sjelvar, 2005)

Orientexpressen had been in existence for 30 years when they released this CD, a live recording at the Music Museum in Stockholm. Although the band plays folk music of the Balkans, the musicians are from Sweden. It can be assumed that the music on An Unfinished Story is authentic; you will not be able to hear much Swedish influence here.

The singer is Hazim Bosnic, a Bosnian brought in for the vocals. All but one of the the tracks are traditional folk songs.

Klezmer music is perhaps the closest analogy to this type of music. There are two accordions, violin, clarinet, guitar, bass and percussion. As with klezmer, some parts are reminiscent of polka, although the heavy Middle Eastern influence on the melodies makes it less sunny but more interesting with its minor keys.

Other parts of this CD consist of gypsy-like laments. The longest track, "Emina," is eight minutes long, with Bosnic singing throughout. These presumably sad songs are haunting. It is too bad that there are no English translations included.

This is a solid introduction to a genre not heard very much in the United States.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Dave Howell

25 July 2009

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new