Royksopp - Melody A.M.
Royksopp are a duo from Norway. They rely on beautiful soundscapes, and a couple appearances by Erlend Oye of Kings of Convenience fame on Melody A.M.
, to create an interesting and relaxing album that is a joy to listen to from beginning to end. In my opinion this is the type of downbeat album that rivals Boards of Canada's Music Has the Right To Children
in terms of sheer beauty. This album is perhaps even a little more accessible to wider listener base because of it's lighter mood, and pop qualities.
Two of the standout tracks are the two that feature vocals from Erlend Oye. "Poor Leno", a club favorite, loops the line "Poor Leno, where you'll be I'll go. Where you'll be I'll know. Where you'll be I'll find you." The airy vocals juxtapose wonderfully with the driving pace of the underlying beat. The other track, "Remind Me", puts Erlends beautiful vocals on display even more than "Poor Leno". "Remind Me" is the highlight of the album for me. The vocals which are mirrored by a synthisized keyboard melody, make the song so strong, and the overall atmosphere created is very relaxing. Just about every track on the album maintains a very high quality.
There are so parts that are forgetable, but not really any noticeable lulls. "Eple", "Sparks", and "In Space" are great gateway songs into the epic "Poor Leno", taking a page from Air's Moon Safari by not relying too heavily on vocals, but rather just layers upon layers of spacey, airy, fluffy goodness, with the occasional vocal sample thrown in.
Think of the two main songs as "Poor Leno" and "Remind Me", and the surrounding music isn't as distinct, but rather, an everflowing wonderful accompaniment. "A Higher Place", and "Royksopp's Night Out" are a wonderful bridge, with the later the peak that the entire album has been building to...a 7 and a half minute epic with so many fantastic mood changes.
"She's So" begins the comedown part of the record. There is a jazzy horn solo with sonic layered soundscapes joined later by a funky beat. The song feels like it belongs in a lounge at around 4 or 5 am, and the last half of "40 Years Back/Come" is nothing more than a faint melody, signaling the end to the party which is this album. It is overall 45 minutes of bliss, and one of the better albums of 2001.
"Royksopp's Night Out"
For Fans of:
Boards of Canada
Kings of Convenience