Monday, March 9, 2009

Synnøve Rognlien - "Undr"

"Undr" is the debut release by Norwegian singer Synnøve Rognlien. I quite recently came across Synnøve on Annbjørg Lien's page and decided to check her out. I can read and write a little Norwegian but can only understand about 1 in 50 words when it's spoken. Why, then, am I reviewing an album sung entirely in Norwegian? Because her music is amazing. Her voice is an exquisite instrument that carries me over a beautiful, gentle, almost hypnotic landscape.

Her music is a rich blending of acoustic, folk-based music with electronica, along with elements of jazz and Gregorian chant thrown in for good measure. I find "Undr" joyously refreshing. The two most straight-forward, melodic songs are "Som Bare Du Bar" and "Du Som Våker". Most of the other pieces rest more comfortably in the experimental vein. The most stunning song on this album is "Det Røde". The arrangement is very stark, highlighting Synnøve's emotion-laden voice. The album closes on a fantastic note with "Du". My favorite pieces are "Det Røde", "Serk", and "Du Som Våker", with "Du" not far behind.

This album is an incredible tapestry of sound that definitely warrants repeated listenings. You can hear 4 of the 11 tracks in their entirety on her MySpace page.

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