Boris Rogowski’s newest album The Big Sleep is a depiction of a life filled with currents that lead to reoccurring places. Along this flowing path, one falls in love and discovers that life is cheap. But, never does one feel they reached a place of satisfaction for the soul always finds itself back to square one and the perfect life is never good enough for anyone. Boris’ light, watery music is mostly performed by him. But he does receive some help from Moishe Lichtfuss, Benedikt Filleboeck, Isabelle Holder, and Eva Bardo, who synthesize the music into a somewhat complex product with Soft-Rock, Neo-Folk, Jazz, and Middle Eastern.
That being said; a dreamy zone is the right place to be when listening to the album because Boris delivers with abstractions—the effort feels like fractured dreams. With some exceptions, it’s difficult to make out what he is singing, except that perhaps the goal was to direct us to the attract verses repel aspect of life expressed on track ten “Stargazer.” The dichotomy also reflected in his moniker—The Society Islands; society referring to a cluster while island is connoting seclusion.
The real Society Islands are not land masses made up in dreams. They are, in fact, islands located in the South Pacific Ocean. One of these islands is Tahiti, a place where Paul Gauguin found his own exotic dream while painting in an array of bold colors. Rogowski didn’t create his songs anywhere near Tahiti; the album was produced in Cologne, Germany his home. Admittedly, the album has a somewhat soporific effect. But that’s not to say the effort missed an aesthetic quality.
The Big Sleep is a compilation of eleven tracks opening with the singer admitting he’s a drifter who needs to change. One would guess that Rogowski is very attached to this subject—he’s a fish that can’t be caught by anyone. The message is universal, for the next track “From My Mouth Into Yours” tells us there’s more in the world to see. Why not let the ocean’s currents flow to imaginable places? Albeit, track three “In The Water” suggests it’s better to tread those waves with someone you love. “Run For My Money” departs from the water metaphor to express the need to have someone who will always keep you from drifting. But if you should happen to miss the night district train you might like the sleaze of the night, hence track five “Cheap Life.”
After “Cheap Life” the songs that follow like “Archer” and others take the album on a darker path where death appears to overshadow the life bearing water metaphor. The darker path gives rise to another meaning to the title. The Big Sleep could be like Gauguin’s Tahiti, dreams filled with bright colors offering meditations on impossibilities. Or The Big Sleep could be our last sleep.