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Naervaer - Skiftninger [Prophecy Productions - 2001]

I guess this is what happens when a group of extroverted and creative musicians with a bunch of acoustic instruments lock themselves up in a studio during the night (in this studio there is most certainly a fireplace, some comfortable furniture and a lot of alcohol). How to precisely categorize this assortment of songs? I honestly have no idea, this is experimental-ambient music done in a way I had never heard before...

The album is mostly acoustic (except the bass, "ambience"sound effects and some distorted electric guitar that sounds very distant) with excellent male and female vocals and the second half of it is more ambient than the first. In the instrument department we of course get acoustic guitars, but also trumpets, accordion, xylophone, drums, various percussions and piano. The production is very good and it's evident that the band take what they do seriously enough to really take the time to do it right.

Sometimes the mood of the album is playful and you can almost imagine them dancing around (like in "Døse Dager" or "Bob Dylan is the Fucking King" - yeah, they even imitate Bob's voice in this one!) and at other times it's more pensive and sorrowful (like in "Vi SÅ'kke Land"). They even have a big xylophone jam that begins in "To Øyer...", segues into a piano, female vocals and drum piece which after a while goes back to the xylophone jam in "... To Hav". I had never heard anything quite like it before and the variations in style and mood are all very natural so you don't feel that the album is made of totally disparate elements even if they sometimes are, hell, they even have a song, "Nummen", where the singer sound exactly like Leonard Cohen and another that sounds like a cover of the Rawhide theme!

The lyrics are all in Norwegian except for "Bob Dylan is the Fucking King" but I don't think it's a problem even for people who don't know that language (like me) since the music and the way the lyrics are sung convey the message at least as well as words could.

This album is comprised of 65 minutes of greatness, if you like eclectic and unique moody music (say that three times very fast - "eclectic and unique moody music"...) run and get it, you'll thank me later.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

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