Best of Mashina Vremeni/Andrey Makarevich (my opinion)
"Turn" (Поворот)'s message of taking the path less taken and not fearing to go the way most others wouldn't is a subject that the band has touched on several times in one form or another. "Вот Край" is an example of a twist on the meaning. Either way, the song blends the poetic nature that I've come to affiliate Mashina Vremeni with, as-well-as the mild and more serious tone songs of similar nature take. The song avoids being upbeat and keeps it to a more melancholy ring. Applicable still to this day, and free of angered emotions, this song is good for (to me) for the feelings it instills.
"Люди в Лодках" or "People in Boats" is an affectionate song about life, to put it simply. The song's metaphors, like many of the metaphors seen in their songs, is powerful, poignant and in a way, kinda sad. People in boats set past their lives in a way. Realizing that the world isn't a bad place, and that in the end it is all just a big damn river and people are on boats. Also, a lot of their songs make references to the sea, sailing and maritime malarkey, just found that interesting.
Love Rules the World, not what you think it is about. This is the first song I've ever listened to from Mashina Vremeni, and the first song I translated before becoming a translator. This song is bizarre but very, very Vremeni-ish. This song is satirical, it is witty, and brought me one of my favorite lines in music : "Sea foam rises because it is mostly made of shit". The song, simply put, makes the affairs of this big 'ol world sound simple.
This is another favorite and has a good twist. I recently published a translation for the song because there was no English, however, I translated it for myself way before I joined the site and it was this song that started my side-hobby of translating Russian music, and if it wasn't for that, then I might not of becoming a translator. This song is strange, interesting, but strange. "She Goes Through Life Smiling" is not as happy as you may think, it is about a woman basically living a double life and forced into being happy and yet really, she isn't. This song has a strong meaning, and although it isn't applicable today in most countries, in some dictatorships (like North Korea) this song would be a solemn reminder to their lives. The song's ending though is what sells it to me, that "twist" of sorts, he doesn't elaborate why she is crying, he just tells you "Watch as she begins to cry at night." Implying that something, something inside, is wrong.
"Флюгер" or "vein" as-in "weather vein" is yet another political song from the band. This time that when you push someone so far that they break, you have no need to keep pushing, but in a political sense. The people, once you break them, they will not push back. The metaphors are great, and honestly, the beat is really good, all making the song a personal favorite.
And now for something, lighter. Yeah, very light. This is from "Don't Park Cars" and if you've followed my translations you'll know how much I love this album for the oddities that exist. The band made a great song, it is hilarious (I guess a guy being poisoned by a woman is funny in an ironic sense?) and really I just like the song for the over-exaggerated bad American-accent "О'кей!" Halfway through the instrumental. That really made the song to me, also it tells a hilarious story, so there is that.
If you've noticed a slight trend in my interset it really has been politically applicable songs that people today can still understand the meaning. Not always are his songs applicable (most Americans wouldn't get the metaphor in "She Goes Through Life Smiling" if they were to read the lyrics) and it is because of people don't understand what other people went through. This song though holds firm as being applicable no matter what. 'One Day the World Will Bow to Us" is exactly that, the world should bow to us not us to the world. And with that being said, the song tells not only its story but its message with pride. It is in the casually upbeat Vremeni tone, the music is great, and every part of the song is woven together perfectly.
"Let the Feast Begin Now" is moving into my heart as a favorite, it may even usurp "Bonfire" if I keep listening to it! This song is simple, but at the same time, the short, honest nature to the song and the lines "Your road, your home. The light that never went out. And a bit of faith. Is all within you" resonates (hopefully) to everyone. The song is just another Vremeni song, but that is exactly what I like about it. In the album "Don't Park Cars" so many strange songs existed, there was funny, political and blues-y, there was literally a taste for everyone. But that is why this song stands out, only three or four of the songs from "Don't Park Cars" sound so familiar to the Makarevich I've been listening to for almost three years now, and it just goes to show sometimes a band might not need to step into covering other band's songs or switching out their tone, because...
"What is Always with You" is a powerful song, and Vremeni going on for what, 50 years? Crazy. What is crazier is that this song is from their 2018 album which only had three songs (what the heck?) and all of them were amazing, but at the same time, only three songs? All classic Vremeni, all powerful, political or cultural? Yeah, this song not only bitch slapped the Kremlin with the final stanza in the song you barely hear, but it looks like good ol' Vremeni is still going to do music, and honestly, I hope they go on for 60 years as a band.
And speaking of their 2018 Album, this song delivered so many political lines, makes me believe that one member of the band was a naval captain (like you cannot have these many songs making metaphors to the sea and not have been a captain at one point) and is witty, still applicable (I mean it just came out last year in January) and it is beautiful of a song. It also is a good introduction song to those who are curious about Vremeni's style as the pessimistic optimism is dialed down to just one line, and the metaphors are not too hard to understand.
Yeah this song is another good one. It is beautiful, and really shows the band's ability to switch the tone of their music without issue. This is an upbeat song, which I love, if you're new to Mashina Vremeni or haven't listened to their music, trust me when I say this but to find songs from them that are upbeat and end on a happy note is a rarity. Almost every song has to deal with a major issue that a positive upbeat song really couldn't do justice. And this song, oddly about friendship, is a testament to the variety of subjects and topics they'll address.
And here is one of my favorites when I try and stress how optimistically pessimistic the band can be. "Here is the Edge" is, well, about that, the edge. The edge of what? I'll leave that for you to decide. But to put it bluntly, they seem to be speaking about oppression, being lied to and a bunch of other political malarkey. What puts this song in my heart? Well, if this list makes it apparent either there is a single powerful line, a conglomerate of metaphors or applicability to this day and age. Well, this song has all of it. The song has a powerful line, great metaphors that we all should head, the song is upbeat even though it is fairly dark, plus it is applicable.
"Strangers Among Strangers" is dark, it is hecka-dark. The song is also political, applicable, and almost like they're screaming to the world about how hopeless the world has become. The song talks about "a man", who is this man? Is it just a metaphor for dictators? Trump, Putin? Clinton? Anyone? Who is this oppressive evil person? Well, to me, that is the genius of this song. The metaphor isn't clear, and yet he makes it obvious that this person has control and has hurt people with fear. And this fear culminates to the question : "Is there anyone here? Are we just strangers among strangers?"
"Rats" is a hilarious, dark, and applicable song, so you know it'll be here! This song (and number 16) are good examples of how Makarevich's metaphors are never the same. He'll refer to Rats as the denizens at the mercy of the head of states (see 16) while here, the rats are now magically the people oppressing. I like this song because it really is a good song with a powerful meaning, but at the same time, it is also a smear at those "rats" who oppress people. Also the last stanza is probably the best part of the song, so it fits that criteria.
"When I was Bigger", the Russian "We Didn't Start the Fire", is a fairly simple song that made me do way too much research (don't believe me? Check the footnotes man! Like thirty footnotes!). The song really is a brief overview of history from I guess Russia's perspective (I honestly have no clue what is going on in that song) but I love it because as a storytelling device, it does a fantastic job. Plus, just sounds more like classic rock than anything. The metaphors are great, albeit sometimes confusing, and I still have no clue what the meaning of the song is about. But I would recommend the song.
"Our Home" is a softer song, and one of the very few songs that is not pessimistic (although the optimism is lacking). The song is simple, it is beautiful and it is relatable. We all want to live in a small home away from conflict, we want shelter from the pains of the outside world. Who wouldn't?
"Chained by One Chain" is on this list because of how Mashina Vremeni interpreted "Nautilus Pompilus'" song. Mashina Vremni's take on this song is, to me, the perfect mixture of rock, a bit of alternative, and a bit of metal, with the vocals and the instruments leading to a powerful rendition of this powerful song. The meaning of the song is what you'd expect, and probably why Vremeni decided to do a version of it. But a version they did and honestly, I find their cover to be a good interpretation instrumentally of the song.
Finally, 40 years since then. This was the first song I've translated into Russia for this website, although because of me being a spaz the first song I actually published was "Strangers Among Strangers" and then I got distracted and published three more before this song, but it still was my first translation. There isn't anything too special about this song, it is beautiful, and I love the song because of that, and the special place for being the first Russian song I "professionally" translated into English for the website.