The sweet voiced Polish girl continues to set the standard by which other, less inventive adult contemporary vocalists should be measured. Her tender yet powerful feelings take listeners' hearts to places with fascinating, sometimes surreal imagery. Basia and partner/producer Danny White's real gift is rhythmic diversity, and the tandem take the artsy route on a big, brassy tour through Brazil and Latin America, employing jazzy touches that keep even the most staid tune hopping. The ballads are sweet as well. Nobody in this crowded genre outclassed or outperformed Basia, but as welcome as this comeback after four years was, the singer never followed up with another full-length studio project.
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music
One thing is quite certain: ou can love this album to death or loathe it with every fiber of your being, but you can’t really ignore it. From the gorgeusly disturbing gatefold sleeve, displaying a masterpiece of Gothic artwork by Swiss cult artist R.H. Giger (of “Alien” fame), down to the unabashed self-indulgence of its musical content, “Brain Salad Surgery” is a compendium of everything progressive rock is all about, the good, the bad and the ugly. It is loud, metallic, and harsh, undeniably bombastic, though it can also be melodic and soothing – a true rollercoaster ride of an album, swinging from the beautiful, English choirboy vocals of “Jerusalem” (with wonderful lyrics courtesy of one Mr William Blake) to the all-out progressive orgy that is “Karn Evil 9”.