Voli Me, Voli
Lepa Brena Voli Me, Voli LP (RTB, 1986)
Listen, I might know a lot about music, but damn if I can tell one Yugoslavian pop mega-star from another. Ignorant though I may be, when someone hands me an album with a cover shot of a pretty woman dressed in white, cuddling a dove and says "Fifty cents and it's yours," I shell out cash just to find out what it is and why the dame is snuggling a bird. Of course, the payoff is always the music (though you gotta admit that this cover pose is very fetching) and the needle drop on this really raised an uni-brow. Over the speakers comes swirling Balkan dance music with a nice pop feel, a cool sounding drum machine, and a little Arabesque and I'm thinking of finding myself a dove or at least a pigeon and a can of white spray paint. So who is this mystery fowl fancier? Type type type and click, I find she is Lepa Brena and since the early 1980s she's sold over 40 million albums. Oh. 40 million? That is quite a lot. Perhaps I should have known of her. Or perhaps not. There are thousands of artists like Ms Brena, huge in their own country and zilch here in America. Forget the internet as some kind of portal to the world. That is one of the biggest lines of horseshit going today. Unless you've got Serbs in your family, who maintain some kind of cultural attachment to the motherland or you have a fetish for chicks with chicks, Lepa Brena isn't going to be in your ear any quicker today than it was pre-internet. Pre-internet you'd be reading this screed in some magazine. Magazines? Remember them? Made of paper, words inside, came out every month or two - really neat things, these magazines. And you don't have to worry about someone kicking the plug out of the wall and all the words disappearing. So, assuming that this is your intro to Lepa Brena, had you not found this here at Crud Crud the blog, you would have read about it in Crud Crud the zine, all one thousand of you. Sooooooo....Lepa not only sold a ton of records, she made a bunch, many with this band Slatki Greh, a couple of them the best selling Yugoslavian pop albums of all time. Voli Me, Voli is the only one I've heard. Half of it is a snooze, a quarter of it is pretty good, and a quarter of it is really good, like the songs below. I have no doubt that right now some Balkan is laughing their ass off, thinking "What a fucking loser to rave about this junk." All I gotta say is LISTEN MISTER, I DON'T MAKE FUN OF YOU WHEN YOU ARE SPOUTING OFF ABOUT WHAT A GENIUS MOVE CHER'S HALF BREED WAS SO SHUT YOUR DAMN TRAP. Believe me, in this case I know that ignorance is bliss. Enjoy.