One Minute to Seven – Konstantin Nikolaev (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

You should never judge a book by its cover. And you should never judge n album by just the opening song. For whilst the first track 6.59 is an understated slice of chilled, jazz-infused piano, the sort that evokes images of smokey cocktail bars from the 50’s full of sharp-suited men and elegant ladies, the album itself is about much more.

You should never judge a book by its cover. And you should never judge an album by just the opening song. For whilst the first track, 6.59, is an understated slice of chilled, jazz-infused piano play, the sort that evokes images of smokey cocktail bars from the 50’s populated by sharp-suited men and elegant ladies, the album itself is about more. Much more.

As the first notes of the following piece warbling and warped electronica which kicks off God Only Knows rise up, you are already revaluating the assumptions you have made thus far. This second track is a sort of off-kilter, perky piece of electro-pop, one which sets matter of fact vocal deliveries against bouncing dance floor vibes. And these two opening tracks almost act to mark the extremes that the album wanders between.

Hovering neatly between the two are tracks like the wonderfully titled, I Will Make Your Dew Mist Melt, which takes the more soulful and languid delivers of the former and drives it with a wonderfully-charged bass line to make a sweet piece of (barely) restrained jazz-funk.

And so the album continues on its way, defying expectations and hopping genres as it goes. I Don’t Want to Be Your Friend is a strange and beguiling piece of electronic alternative-pop, Mama Told Me ripples with ska energy and My Girl Can’t Stand My Guitar is 21st Century pop-rock at its finest and most forward-thinking.

One Minute to Seven is an album which is certainly musically eclectic but it also seems to have a wonderful consistency. Even when opposites are attracting, the end result is a series of songs which are both wonderfully exploratory yet somehow familiar and complimentary. 

It takes a good artist to be able to do such a thing. To be able to test their own musical boundaries whilst still working to the same formula. Did I say it takes a good artist? Make that a great artist, and Konstantin Nikolaev is surely deserving of such a label.

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