Night distills the mythology of KINO and lays it out there in plain Russian: I'm alone but I'm not lonely, my stereo blares on about the joys of the day, and tomorrow I'll have several new people to meet, and a cup of coffee at a famous cafe will keep me warm. A manifesto if you're 16 and willing to listen, a memoir otherwise. Nietzschean Superman, meet Brodsky's Ironic Observer, meet Byron's Child Harold, meet Eugene Onegin, meet Bruce Lee, meet Robert Smith: Top o' the morning, last samurai. The Night as such shows up in three songs—a deliriously happy album opener, a reserved centerpiece and a funereal ballad.
The sound is pristine, which is to say simple; this is the first time the boys got into something resembling a real studio, and the drums are still atrociously recorded (every cymbal crash threatens to topple the entire song), but inventions abound: Kasparyan's shortcomings as a guitarist are cleverly masked—some of his chinka-chink phrasing sounds like it was recorded at a slower speed in a lower key, then revved up. Titov's bass is allowed to bubble up throughout, and basically leads the melody on most songs. Session player Igor Butman throws in some nice sax breaks. And Viktor commits to tape the most adventurous vocals he'd ever record, attempting stifled punk snarl and even an occasional croon.
The high points:
The low point: