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World Music CD Reviews Europe

Lav Eli

By Chris Heim
Published April 27, 2007

Notes From Vanadzor–Urban Armenian Rock

In the past decade Lav Eli formed, disbanded, regrouped, recorded its one official studio album (which sat in the can for three years until now) and then broke up again. But their journey goes all the way back to the ’60s, when rock first became the universal language of youth–except, of course, in places like Armenia, where it struggled with difficult political and economic circumstances. Still, when Lav Eli formed in 1996, a small but vibrant scene existed and a limited edition cassette and subsequent bootleg put the group at the top of it. Artistic differences eventually took their toll, but the band reunited in 2003 to record this album. (Guitarist Gor Mkhitarian went on to solo work.) Notes features Lav’s two big hits, is solidly produced and includes English notes. Still, it is more appealing for the complex story behind it than the rather straightforward prog-rock it contains.