SEPTEMBER — Domovina Moja (review)

SEPTEMBER — Domovina Moja album cover Album · 1979 · Jazz Related Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
The sophomore effort of SEPTEMBER and their swan song LP "Domovina moja" (Eng. "My Homeland") was recorded in the USA, Florida in spring 1978 following several personnel changes.

The end of 1977 saw the departure of Petar Ugrin, Charlie Novak and Ratko Divjak, with new members coming in to replace them: Marjan Malikovic-guitar, Jadran Ogrin-bass and Nelfi Depanger-drums. This album introduced a somewhat simpler and more accessible music closer to classic rock form, having a full-time guitarist instead of the departed violin/trumpet player.

American-style harmony vocalization is also stressed, which was logically influenced by the studio production of their hosts in Florida studios. That said, it is still a strong and perfectly produced fusion/crossover work, albeit with some unnecessary excursions into mainstream, like the pointless and ineffective guitar solo in the opener "Summer Winds" and quite boring, too extended piece "Have To Say Goodby".

Most songs were written by Asanovic and Boncina, who acted as a perfect songwriting team. These happened to be major hit on this album that enjoyed considerable popularity across Yugoslavia radio-stations: "I'll Come Back To You", "Lady" and the title track. If you wonder could jazz-rock sound "commercial", here is the answer - Yes! You can call it "lounge music", but I would say - "perfectionism and professionalism". You can cite influences from Herbie Hancock, STEELY DAN, DOOBIE BROTHERS, CRUSADERS, even early CHICAGO and you will not mistake. In another context however, this was the peak of progressive and jazz rock era, just a year before New Wave explosion in Yugoslavia (particularly in Slovenia), which brought to front some new names, faces and ideas.

"Florida" is a nice diary taken from their trip to America and I can feel in the lyrics the excitement and adventure of the musicians coming with red passports from a socialist country to America for the first time - to the land of music where "it all started".

But probably the best moment on the album is a straight rock song "Kolo" with some excellent guitar work of Malikovic, celebrating the life of musicians in the chorus - "our only true love was music". This track was another huge hit and it is still wondering why the band decided to stop working in late 1979, after such a great album at the peak of their popularity. Nevertheless, this fine work is well worth checking out and can be safely recommended to all jazz, fusion and rock fans.
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