Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Country, Pop
Nashville has long been abuzz about Bering Strait, six classically trained Russian musicians who play country and bluegrass music as if they grew up in Omaha, not Obninsk. But after four years and five record labels with n... more »
Listen to Samples
Nashville has long been abuzz about Bering Strait, six classically trained Russian musicians who play country and bluegrass music as if they grew up in Omaha, not Obninsk. But after four years and five record labels with no record released, do Bering Strait live up to the hype? Well, there's no question about their chops. The album's one instrumental, the Grammy-nominated "Bearing Straight," proves it in a Béla Fleck fusion sort of way. Yet mostly this debut aims for the solidly mainstream target audience, in songs about love, sensuality, and romance, whether shattered or shared. Lead vocalist Natasha Borzilova delivers poised and nuanced readings, and almost all the songs were written by bankable Nashville tunesmiths, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Mary Ann Kennedy, and Pam Rose among them. The only hints that these kids hail from somewhere outside the WSM listening area come from brief, spoken dialogue and a traditional Russian folk song ("Porushka-Paranya"). What's missing is a little more personality, a few more original tunes (the best, "Only This Love," finds band member Ilya Toshinsky at the head of the credits), and a lot more of that aforementioned hot picking. But oh, what a cultural exchange this could be! --Alanna Nash
Similarly Requested CDs
Real country from Russia
Mark S. Mallett | PA USA | 02/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you've grown weary of music that you can't tell is country or not, Bering Strait might be just what you are looking for. Excellent vocal and instrumental country music. "Bering Strait" (track 10) is an instrumental tract that fully showcases the musical ability of the group. "Parushka-Paranya" (cut 11) doesn't let you forget that this blue-grass side of country group is really from Russia. There is not a track I didn't like (unusual for me). Not perfect - I think the tracts could have been organized on the disk - but an truly outstanding first effort from a new group, none the less. Be sure and watch the trailer from the documentary "The Ballad of Bering Strait". I also particularly enjoyed the video extra of "Bering Strait" and "Jagged Edge of a Broken Heart"."
Mark S. Mallett | 02/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I heard about the band from my sister-in-law, who made a documentary film about the group entitled "The Ballad of Bering Strait". I am not a country music fan, but really enjoy this album. The lead singer, Natasha, is gifted, as are all the musicians in the group. The music will be enhanced if you have the opportunity to see the film about their tough journey from Russia to Nashville and finally getting their album released."
Something Completely Different...
Tim Hewitt | Columbia, SC USA | 02/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well, not exactly in terms of originality, but certainly in terms of origin. Making it to these comments, you surely already know that the musicians who make up Bering Strait hail from Russia. At first glance, this first CD is a charming novelty: 6 young Russian-bred musicians turn out a Nashville CD that's as good as any slick, highly-produced Country release on the market. Heck, you'd swear that when they speak (and you can hear them do so on this enhanced CDs video clips), lead singer Natasha Borzilova and lead guitarist Ilya Toshinsky have a twinge of Southern twang in their voices. And when Natasha sings, all bets are off (are they sure Russia isn't a county somewhere in Tennessee?). As you listen to the CD, you may never forget the novelty, but you'll become impressed by the talent. Although most of the songs are pure "product" out of the Nashville factory, the skill with musical instruments and the vibrancy of Natasha's voice more than make up for the simple songcraft. There are certainly likeable songs here, the single "Jagged Edge of a Broken Heart" and "Like a Child" stand out. And guitarist Toshinsky takes shared credit on two songs, indicating there may be a budding songsmith in the band. But in the end, this CD isn't designed to break new musical ground with the trendiness or depth of the songs. It's designed to prove that these kids from Russia can deliver as good as the home-grown talent. The artistry they display on this debut effort is promise that they'll likely do even better on future releases as they begin to assert their individuality. You'll buy this CD for the novelty. You'll enjoy it for the sheer display of talent. And I bet you'll keep an eye out for their next CD!"