MACRO-REVIEW: Macro-review “I Feel” By Tomáš Klus

Tomáš Klus is sometimes like President Zeman – although he would like to unite people, he often unfortunately divides them. It’s not so much his music that is to blame, but rather his views, which are definitely not afraid to express themselves in public. This is also one of the reasons why we let his more personal album “I Feel” pass the test of our macro review.

© Tomas Klus

Last year, Tomáš Klus made a wise decision – he put his sharpest political views on the album “ČAUČESKU” and more personally conceived lyrics filled the December recording “I feel”. Not that there are no digs into public life, but it is more accessible to people who are not interested in his political views. Despite the much richer and more electronic production of Jiří Burian in the commendable review Hana Bukáčková claims to be a novelty “… the spirit of the songwriter did not leave Tomáš Klus. On the contrary – maybe he is stronger than ever thanks to the messages hidden in the individual songs”. None of her other colleagues joined her 8/10 rating, but two sevens, one six and one four together put together a relatively decent 60 percent for a macro review. So what do the individual editors think about “I feel”?

Jan Trávníček – The path to adulthood will lead to the return of the lost son? (7/10)
Relation to the artist: Very warm from the beginning of his career, he lost me a bit in the middle of the tenth decade to come back to him because of the phenomenal Cluster Symphony, which I missed live and I don’t stop believing in another symphonic tour.

I remember playing his single at the club as a DJ shortly after the release of his debut, and a disgruntled guest came to argue with me about what they had to listen to. I told him that it was a new Czech discovery and that he should remember his name. I’m glad I wasn’t mistaken then and Tomáš Klus broke through with the second – his best – board in full. I saw him live perhaps more times than anyone else on the domestic scene, and when he only played with Jirka Kučerovský, I had a royal time with his improvisations. It wasn’t so much fun with the Target Group, so he got a little lost on my radar in later years. “Anat’s life isn’t” is, after all, the worst thing he’s ever released. But now … What now? Now he’s released a record that’s remarkable, to say the least. It is very diverse musically and the themes it opens up. And logically, that’s why I can’t get absolutely excited. Although I’d love to. There are nice looks in the mirror (“So far”), likable singles (“Miracle”), word games (“Tamarotti”) or an absolute bomb and the top of the album called “Enlightened”. I also like the clear position in “I’ll do the same”. Few people have the courage to show colors this way. But then there are things I don’t really understand, like “Liberté” or “Manasarovar”. Or maybe “Phi”, with whom I can’t decide which side to lean on. But maybe that’s the magic that tempts me to return to the album “I Feel”. And try to understand him whole. The trot is more legible on it and yet still incomprehensible in places. But it has always been in a way. He lived in his dream world, giving himself words to find new meanings, and sometimes it worked, other times he might just laugh at them. Now he seems to fall to the ground from time to time. But then he bounces again.

Honza Balušek – Another, only instrumentally richer klusovina (7/10)
Relation to the artist: As the author of the praiseworthy reviews of his several records very positive. Although in recent years I would much rather keep it live than from another album.

For Tomáš Klus, the new record is definitely different from the previous ones, mainly in the way of recording and the resulting arrangements, which he took care of from the position of producer, especially Jiří Burian. I dare write that the vast majority of his listeners do not even notice, because the main thing for them is the songs themselves. Klus remained in his place as a composer, author of music and lyrics. Nowhere has his specific speech disappeared, which can get on someone’s nerves like acting, texts full of puns and at the same time references to his personal and public life. Anyone who watches him on social networks or even on the boulevard will know what the verses are about, if you do not orient yourself in his personal life, you may sometimes get lost. The new collection does not reach the first three albums, which were full of youthful overpressure, but we can still find some wonderful pieces on it. In “Marií” he proved that if he wants to, he can also write a potential stadium chorus, only the electronics in the verses do not fit the song completely. Personally, I like “Fí” with a passage through the middle passage and the self-ironic “Enlightened” the most. Unexpectedly, the song “Christmas Time” also blossomed, which has been with us for some time, but I really fell in love with it on the record. Although I appreciate that in terms of production, Klus has embarked on new waters on the novelty, sometimes his personal songwriting lyrics and musical accompaniment do not meet so much. But not so much that one doesn’t get used to it in the end.

Josef Martínek – Personal album only partially (6/10)
Relation to the artist: When he made his debut in 2008 with the album “Cesta do záhu (d) by”, he quickly became my favorite Czech singer. Human sympathies remained, but I don’t even remember the last time I reluctantly played any of his songs.

Tomáš Klus is exactly the type of performer who tries to be more and more honest and open in his work, but for most listeners it has the opposite effect. On the first records, he managed relatively little, especially with a feeling for pleasant melodies and a distinctive song language, in the last ones, on the contrary, he seemed to want to put so much into himself that even the area of ​​a long-playing recording cannot bear it. There are nice moments in which he shows self-reflection, for example when he sings in the opening “So far”: “So far, I’m alone, I’m struggling to not understand others.” The self-ironic confession is funny “I already belong to a party that doesn’t catch on” in the slightly dancing single “Secret” or a bold statement “I guess I’d be shit too, if I didn’t know each other” in “Enlightened”. On the whole, however, Tomáš repeats himself a lot – he reiterates his love for Tamara and his children, he once again draws attention to the topics of climate change or the refugee crisis. “I Feel” was supposed to be a purely personal recording after the political album “ČAUČESKU”, yet it tends to beat things into society as a whole. As if Tomas couldn’t come to terms with the sticker moralizing preacher, which was granted to him, and he still believed that he would say it differently and better now. However, the result is still the same. Together with producer Jiří Burian, they looked for a more modern and electronic sound for the singer. It turned out more successfully at times when the music illustrates his statement rather inconspicuously. The album does not contain great mainstream hits – and where it tries a bit, it sounds first-line, for example the song “Mariím”. WITH piárový designation Klus’s first pop record I can’t agree – the Třinec singer was always part of the mainstream. Popular culture cannot be defined by mere genre, but rather by the ability to speak to a wide audience. Tomas, as a successful living artist, is a little detached from the everyday reality of the so-called of the common people loses. Of course, he has the right to say what and how from his position he feels, but in the same way, listeners have the right to feel differently.


Honza Průša – Watchtower of Tomáš Klus (4/10)
Relation to the artist: Charmer. I respect him. I admire him. I agree with him. Not much musically.

First of all, it is fair and it is necessary to write that I respect Tomáš Klus. I really agree with his views, I’m glad he presents them to the world. He is a kind and necessary activist, a moral role model. Fact. Without any irony. Musically, however, we are all quite different, and the current one else is the most elsewhere in his work so far. We pass here. “I feel” has several dimensions for me. On the one hand, it is a message that is hidden in the texts. In clever puns and disarming sincere confessions or in the eyes of a critical observer, Klus is exactly what I respect him for. And thank you for that. But that’s where it ends. The second dimension is the music component. “I feel” is a colorful and disorganized collection of kitschy melodies, often with (un) hidden inspiration from anyone else. You hear Land for a while and I understand why (“I’ll do the same”), for a while Nohavica (“The First Poem”), elsewhere as if Simon and Garfunkel are playing the same song with old Poppies (“Phi”) or the most superfious 80’s pop played somewhere in the church ( “Mary”). And it all sounds like a plastic nativity scene from Lidl. Like artificial meat. As a printed reproduction of the original painting for a few crowns. Or like pictures from the Watchtower. Lots of colors, positivity alternates positivity, joy another joy, even that evil is as if adorned and drawn by a child’s hand. And that leads to the whole essence of my problem with Tomáš’s work. Those songs might fit into a heavily styled musical where you don’t mind playing. Where it is necessary not to be natural and to throw kitsch next to kitsch in the papundec backdrop (that’s not a bad thing, that’s how it’s done), but that’s what will catch the viewer’s attention. Maybe I could spend it there, maybe not. But on the record, I’m as embarrassed by those songs as when I inadvertently overheard Lunetics in the 1990s. But maybe just too I belong to a party that doesn’t catch on. If on this board catches enough people to take something from her, I’ll be happy. Fact. Maybe this form, as a path to wide crowds, is the right one. 67212

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