Ciuraj, Wojciech - Ballady bez romansów

Kev Rowland

In between the third and fourth Walfad albums, singer and guitarist Wojciech Ciuraj took time out to record a solo album, bringing in different musicians and flavours from what he had been doing within the band setup. It is based on the works of Adam Mickiewicz, who is apparently often referenced as Poland’s greatest poet. One of his most popular books was 1822’s ‘Ballady i romanse’, so I presume this is being reference in the title. Unlike the Walfad albums this is only available in Polish, which given that it is referencing Polish poetry makes total sense. The album shows Ciruaj embracing his more reflective side, and especial mention must be made of the use of flute, which adds additional melody, and some gorgeous bass, while his own singing is some of the finest I have heard from him.

He definitely seems to come to life more in this style of music, which contains great depth, beautiful arrangements and some luscious guitar as well. I have never had an issue listening to music with vocals in another language, as it allows me to drift into the sound, only to be woken up the superb guitar solo contained within the title track itself. I enjoy Walfad’s albums, but having played this quite a few times now I hope that this isn’t the last we hear of this approach, and that Ciuraj returns with another of these in the near future, as this has wonderful nuances and pop melodies contained within a highly accessible album.

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