Music and me have a Marmite-like relationship.
No, not sticky and brown, but love or hate. There is no middle ground when it comes to records, no ambiguities, no apathy and this record definitely falls into the evil bastard camp.
Sondre Lerche is a fresh-faced 19-year-old Norwegian songwriter who has been compared to the likes of Beck and Jeff Buckley. Undeservedly so, as he possesses not an ounce of the former's ingenuity or the latter’s emotion.
It’s an uncomfortable record to listen to, almost like being trapped in a sixties cabaret bar with celebrity gypsy David Essex pestering you to come and look at his collection of silk neckerchiefs (or maybe that’s just me!). Opener 'Dead Passengers' even has a chorus of (no doubt beehive-heavy) girls ‘doo-wopping’ in the background. 'Modern Nature' is a similarly cringe-worthy duet; “Oh what a whirl this life would be, forget all our Technicolor dreams...”
But Sondre my friend! They’re not just dreams! Technicolor does exist! No, really!
If you are an amnesiac and have never heard music from beyond the realms of those 'halcyon' days of the 1960s, then you will love this record. But, in a somewhat cruel twist of fate, you will also not remember to go out and buy it. Everyone else - leave well alone. In this case, history is definitely not worth repeating.
2Lucy Tarry's Score