“Gentleman Who Fell”
I first fell for her music back in 1994, and fell hard, after hearing her debut album that year. All of 18 when she made her first and only album, Milla Jovovich created one of the most inspired and brilliant musical introductions in recent memory. She wrote every song but one, “In the Glade,” which she adapted from a traditional Ukrainian folk balad. Adapted with a sweet melancholy beyond her years. The entire album is beyond her years — wise, exotic, sensual and mysterious. Like the video above, it is surreal and poignant at the same time, something most surrealists couldn’t quite bring off.
Born in Kiev, on December 17th, 1975, she seems to have moved rapidly through many stages. From girlish model and actress, to exotic and brilliant musician, to mature actress and entrepreneur, she refuses to be type-cast. Her natural external beauty was something she completely ignores in her music, as if she wants no one to think of it, ever. As if she wrote and created beyond book covers, skin, sexual allure. As if she battles with her own looks and always wants to go deeper. Much deeper. Kate Bush is an influence, she acknowledges, though I hear nothing but Milla in her album. A Slavic Kate Bush? A Slavic Tori Amos? No. No one has ever created such an album at such a tender age. She displays a confidence, a playfulness, and a depth that should not be, but appears, full-grown, ready-made.
It is a shame she never did a follow up. Her album deserves its place in the pantheon of great musical debuts in recent years and shouts out the promise of brilliant sequels. I hope she returns to the focus, the natural, innocent, flowing focus of that first album someday. She still makes music and offers it on her website. But it’s not the same. Milla, if you’re listening, bring us the next act in your divine comedy!!