Review: Boris Grebenshikov/"Radio Silence"

Author: Steve Hochman
Los Angeles Times
August 13, 1989

Two pertinent questions: Would Grebenshikov (let’s just call him Boris) ever have gotten a deal with a major American label if he wasn’t Russian? And given that he is Russian, does this record offer any kind of insights into his culture?

The appeal of the album goes beyond Boris’ nationality, and even beyond David Stewart’s rich yet tasteful production. Boris himself, formerly the leader of the noted Moscow underground band Aquarium, brings some real talent of his own to the project, particularly a deft writing touch that in a few peak moments could stand comparisons to Peter Gabriel.

But other than his accent and several Russian lyrics, there are few direct connections to the Soviet Union to be found. Of course, that sure beats the glasnost-pandering indulged in by many lesser Iron Curtain acts trying to exploit the current climate. And in the long run his images of fear and love are much more evocative (as well as universal) than specifically Russian references could have been.

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