[one_half last=”yes”]SUSANNE SUNDFØR
Ten Love Songs
Label: Sonnet Sound
03. Fade Away
09. Trust Me
NBHAP Rating: 4/5
Champer pop and disco grandeur
With her fifth record, SUSANNE SUNDFØR clearly takes another step towards musical diversity. It’s been a long way from her folkish beginnings to the chamber pop- and disco songs on this record. Especially tracks like Fade Away and Delirious are meant for the really huge stages. But there’s always a certain SUNDFØR element involved that keeps the record from being phoney: The slightly cold, electronic distance of former records like The Silicone Veil and the bleakness of The Brothel are still there, a certain sense of distance to the album’s matter if you like. But foremost, SUSANNE SUNDFØR‘s voice is what stands out at any time. It’s a true gift and thrones high above some inevitable cheesy lines (‘this is the kind of love that never goes out of style’).
A record about love
…but not a record of love songs. An important thing to notice as it’s kind of hard to get hold of SUNDFØR herself in these songs. Pretty sure she’s somewhere in there, in all the destructive obsession. But still the songs resonate on a far more abstract level, leaving the impression that SUSANNE SUNDFØR is in full control of her artistic statements at this point. Ten Love Songs feels like an accidental concept album about love, with an arc spanning from the introduction (Darlings, Accelerate), to the epic, orchestral peak (Memorial) and ending with SUNDFØR stating that ‘nothing’s ever easy’ in Trust Me. The following and last song Insects though somehow destroys more than it finalizes. One could say: what a pity, but actually that is what SUNDFØR‘s albums always tended towards: Listener’s gratification by huge pop and beautiful arrangements but extended with some disturbing elements.
Breakthrough or not?
No doubt that SUSANNE SUNDFØR is huge in her home country Norway with fairly success throughout Europe. The impact of her magnificent voice and her writing skills, as well as her artistic passion and belief are also unquestioned at this point. Wether Ten Love Songs will mark an expand of her audience or not depends on the accessibility of the material. As a whole, this record rambles through too many territories to really serve as an easy listening pop experience. But the moments of sheer beauty hit much harder with moments of darkness and mystery at their side (‘You say that I’m delirious/but I’m not the one holding the gun’). In that sense, this record is a highly valuable contribution to pop history’s long lasting relationship with love songs.
Susanne Sundfør’s fifth record deals with love and contains huge pop hymns – but still it’s far too complex and abysmal to satisfy the masses.