Svetlana Surganova presented on the web her new single, which surprised many of her fans. The song “Babylon” is quite unusual for the melodic, intimate works of Svetlana Surganova, it is presented as being acutely social. “ZD” measures depth of the relevance.
The cold, dry, electric wall of sound immerses the listener into the twenty-four-hour car fever of megalopolises, filled with rush and urgency. Svetlana sings about the ever-increasing speed of life. “There’s somewhere to run to again, and we’d just like to breathe <…>. We’d just like to have a stop along the way. As if we desperately need to get somewhere” The topic is not a new one, but every year life gets faster and more robotic due to developments in technology. Many listeners consider the song about speed a philosophical one.
“I rarely write on pressing, social topics. This song is an exception. It’s a reflection of my thoughts about what’s going on in the world right now,”- Svetlana Surganova says of her new “high-speed” song about Babylon dying.
As a matter of fact, back in the 80-s Valeriy Leontyev in his immortal hit “Zeleniy Svet” (“Green Light”) reflected on the love for life and need to stop in a “flickering of days, speeds and lights” singing about the green traffic light, which shines when everyone is running, running, running. One may also remember “Mashina Vremeni” with “Povorot” (“A Turn”) and Boris Grebenshchikov with “Poezd v Ogne” (“Train on Fire”). In general, the theme of mankind’s supersonic flight through time and space is periodically raised in both pop and rock culture, which, however, have finally merged into one solid stream and are almost indistinguishable in sound.
The singer speaks in “I write” style, but the voluminous and slightly confusing lyrics are not Svetlana’s own – they were created by the poetess Aglaya Solovyova and the musical idea was given by Denis Sunin, a musician of “Surganova and the Orchestra”; the sound-producer was Andrey Kharchenko.
Perhaps what makes Surganova’s song “acutely social” is the generalization that the poet Solovyova makes of the dying Babylon: “Big dreams roam in our small rooms./ In our dreams the forgotten faces of children come alive…/ Our children’s faces stare into us from a great height./ They look and see strangers <…>. I want Babylon to come alive and live happily ever after”.
Such generalization makes her sound like Viktor Tsoi, who was expressing the state of the masses: “We wanted to drink— there was no water. We wanted light— there were no stars… A silent cry in our eyes: “Onwards!” A silent cry in our eyes: “Stop!”…
Nowadays, when the crowd has become diverse and selective in its tastes, averaging the sentiments of the masses sounds a bit far-fetched. However, hints at the death of Babylon, which the same BG not so long ago sent “out”, can be perceived as neat hints at the not entirely peaceful actualities of today’s reality. Compared to other musicians who have spoken openly on this subject, however, such a reading of the song’s meaning may look like mere idle speculation. Art, however, often leaves room for a great deal of latitude. Intricacy is one of its favourite tools.
Alla Zhidkova “Moskovskiy Komsomolets” newspaper