The Road Back to Music Journalism #1: Milenita’s Gato CD
Discovering a New Artist By Picking a CD Out of a Store Rack
About four years ago, I was in the Sofia airport waiting for my plane to leave. I realized it had been more than a decade since I last purchased a Bulgarian-language music CD, so I perused the airport shops’ CD racks. I was looking for something that appeared professional, interesting, and unique. It was reminiscent of my days as a teenager, searching for new music in the used record store just from the information on the album covers. As you can see from the CD cover, I guessed this would probably be jazz-inspired. I liked the mix of English-language songs because they gave me a better feel for the disc’s musical style, as well.
Why This Was a Step on the Road Back
This was really the first time in the years since I stopped publishing that I had actively sought out new music. I had just started ripping my old CDs, but I hadn’t yet tried to expand my collection. And the fact that I discovered such a gem of a CD, one that I still spin regularly four years later, was the initial spark that restored my interest in new music. The fire to return to writing wasn’t strong yet. It would be almost another year until step #2 on the “road back,” but this was definitely the start.
The CD Review of Milenita: Gato
A jazz-infused, crooner-flavored, sometimes quirky, occasionally poppy blend of torch songs and playful melodies, Milenita’s Gato is a cohesive yet intriguing blend of styles, a little funky at times, jazzy at others, and engaging throughout. Some of the English language, particularly jazzy songs – notably “You Don’t Mind” and “Love Is Not Easy” – suggest a lounge singer in a James Bond film. (And with Milenita’s acting credits, she could fill such an on-screen role, too. Perhaps the next movie in the series after Spectre will require such a role?) Just a touch more playful but in a similar vein is the more playful “Sitting on the Fence” (which is accompanied with a fun video, by the way). The most similar Spanish-language song on the disc is “La Escalera,” while “Niama” fills that role among the Bulgarian-language songs. Tempo-changing tunes like the quirky, horn-driven “Gato Jmunderiño” and more insistent “Doktor Bashar” also highlight an album that leaves the listener wondering what’s next and begging for more even after 14 tracks.
My favorite song on the CD, however, remains “Cherni Kotaraci,” a catchy, energetic, playful (yes, there’s that word again, but this time in spades!) vocal romp that defies categorization though it still is clearly, undeniably a Milenita tune. Indeed, Milenita does a great job of mixing a variety of styles and tempos together into a cohesive CD that could still be described roughly as a mix of pop and vocal jazz.
Gato was a 2010 release. The following year, Milenita began a well-regarded stint acting in TV and film in Bulgaria. She continues to perform live, as well. Since Gato, Milenita has released some additional songs on YouTube. Indeed, I’d encourage you to join me as a subscriber to her YouTube channel. It’s been a while since her last YouTube video, though… and I can’t wait to hear what she has in store for us next!