From the far north of Europe, here you are another chant, sung by the cold wind and played by the hard ice covering in silver all the land.
The new sirens singing from an Iceberg in the Nothern Sea, made their new work rising from the ice-cold sea to our european ears.
I'm talking about Royksopp, who gave us their new work by the non-sense title of "The Understanding"…understanding where European pop-music is falling and what really matters nowadays to build a good album.
And Royksopp made a perfect "Ikea-Style" album, with a few of simple sounds perfectly fitting each other to build something makes you say "…yeah, quite good…!".
11 little pieces, as delicate as mind vacuuming, good to just sit back and relax enjoying their friendly tunes. Except for the first track, "Triumphant", a pale attempt to convert a "Chopin-mouvement" into something "cool and underground", ruining on a 70's-movie-soundtrack-like crescendo, the whole album sounds like very "Royksopp". Strictly as a sequel of their first album "Melody A.M." they kept on "Royksopping" in tracks like "Only This Moment" or "Beautiful Day Without You" in which you could find northern-80's-style voices, warm harmonies and that minimalism between 80's minimoog samples and some kind of Jean Michel Jarre in a really sad mood thinking of some far sunny beaches in the Caribbean area.
Actually some of their arrangements sounds like those 80's videogame which sucked out our coins as we used to be children…and our minds are sucked out our brain in "Sombre Detune" hypnotic instrumental ballad, swinging between Acid tunes and minimalist melodies, as usual, grabbed off the 80's!Just like their debut album has a "tribute sound" to Pink Floyd, track number 9 "Someone Like Me", really sounds like this part of "The Dark Side Of The Moon" everybody always skip " 'coz, boy, does it really makes me sleep!"…but, they really could make it howling damn good, injecting a little acid in its veins to make it "yeah really cool this song, makes me see something human people could have never seen".
My favourite shot is track 3, "49%", the only non-Royksopp-style song, featuring a black voice, a harder rythmic session and a really clever harmonic progression.
Everything feels like a metaphysic journey into the song itself, never getting too serious or hard, keeping it so gentle…I really felt in love with this song, and the melody can really move into your mind making you singing or whistling it all day long without feeling sick!
Last song really sounds weird, as you got kicked into a X-mass atmosphere, so you start wondering where the Xmass tree is in your room! Anyway, after a minute of people exchanging presents, the soft voice just whispers calling for you. "Tristesse Globale" just makes you surprise yourself thinking of good stuff like "yer granny making coconuts biscuits" or "da little pussycat I used to have as I was a kid"…
All in all, this Nordish Electro-Pop music really gives us cool water when the fever of Britney-Pop and Roaring-New-Metal grows high and, even though nothing new is shining under the sun, just caresses our ears raped by the loud sound of 2000's!
Minimal-80's-video-game songs do anything but catching our attentions, making "The Understanding!" the perfect CD you play as you are doing something else or just want to spend some time in "thinking how hard and sad life could be". Preety songs for a very clean style, quite a good album, which looks like those IKEA armchair you build after a saturday afternoon of messing between screwdrivers and swearwords, which look good, not something gorgeous, just an armchair
Röyksopp - The Understanding
02. Only This Moment (Guitar - Ib Kleiser, Mixed By - Tom Elmhirst, Vocals - Kate Havnevik)
03. 49 Percent (Vocals - Chelonis R. Jones)
04. Sombre Detune
05. Follow My Ruin
06. Beautiful Day Without You
07. What Else Is There? (Recorded By [Vocals] - Olof Dreijer, Vocals - Karin Dreijer)
08. Circuit Breaker (Vocals - Kate Havnevik)
09. Alpha Male
10. Someone Like Me
11. Dead To The World
12. Tristesse Globale
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