Einar Solberg
16


3.7
great

Review

by Trey STAFF
June 5th, 2023 | 37 replies


Release Date: 06/02/2023 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This isn't Leprous, but it is an Einar solo album.

It's important to recognize that musical creativity and influence can evolve over time. Leprous has experienced significant growth and development since their debut, and while their current output might not resemble what it was in 2009 or even a decade ago, every album has still been unmistakably Leprous. Sometimes, it is easy to overlook the fact that bands, and individual musicians, naturally evolve and mature over their lifespan. If they want to have longevity, it is likely their style and approach will change. I admit I was guilty of forgetting this when I reviewed Pitfalls and suggested that it could easily be perceived as Einar Solberg’s solo project instead of just a natural progression. However, with the release of an actual Einar Solberg solo album, 16, it should put all previous discussions to rest because the two are distinctly different.

When I first learned of this solo album, I assumed it would be characterized by indulgence and flamboyance, featuring extravagant vocal displays and unconventional compositions blending piano and electronic elements. I can’t say I was upset by this assumption; however, I was totally wrong. 16 doesn’t adhere to those expectations, nor does it feel like an extension of the previous few Leprous releases. Instead, it offers a different musical experience, straying away from excess and focusing on a distinct artistic direction that is pretty much the opposite of my initial assumptions. 16 embraces a moody and subdued tone, prioritizing atmosphere over showcasing Einar as a solo artist. It turns out, Einar was more concerned with delivering some of the most introspective lyrics of his career rather than simply showing off his vocal range.

Nowhere is this subdued emotive atmosphere more apparent than the seven-minute opening title track. Featuring a soft layer of strings and a crooning Einar vocal, it sets the tone for the entire album; one where Einar prepares to take a deep introspective look at his life despite, “the thought of facing it again.” It's a song that holds back on introducing any percussion or dynamics until almost six minutes in, preferring to focus on Einar’s lyrics. Following “16”, subsequent songs introduce elements such as electronics, live percussion, programmed beats, and a touch of proggy quirkiness. However, even with these additions, all the songs revel in a consistently mellow and introspective tone, occasionally punctuated by fleeting surges in volume and tempo when the moment calls for it. Even “Splitting the Soul” – which features the recognizable rasp of Ihsahn – sits within the same subdued electronic / prog realm as the rest of the album integrating his vocals into the established formula instead of changing to suit his style.

The last few Leprous releases may have signaled a significant change in direction, but the release of Einar Solberg’s solo album should help alleviate any lingering discussions regarding them becoming a solo project. By showcasing a collection of songs that are solely by him, it should be evident that Leprous and Einar Solberg's solo work are distinct entities. Moreover, 16 deserves to be viewed as an independent release, surpassing initial expectations by delivering a distinctive and contemplative musical journey that focuses on creating a cohesive opus rather than solely showcasing Einar's versatile vocal style.



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user ratings (70)
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
June 5th 2023


20213 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

My Recommendations:



A Beautiful Life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAE2y2RfHtg

Remember Me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Rj0cIaYxcE

The Glass is Empty: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6zPS4YfEnY

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
June 5th 2023


18257 Comments


Does this Disney as hard as the last Leprous release though?

Flugmorph
June 5th 2023


34336 Comments


please let it

Willie
Moderator
June 5th 2023


20213 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

It doesn't, ha ha. It's more of a brooding, melodramatic, kind of sound. Lots of space and slow builds.

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
June 5th 2023


18257 Comments


"Lots of space and slow builds."

Sounds like Disney-land perhaps? One day I'll have to go there.

I'll add this to the list but I've already turned my attention back to the new Thy Catafalque. A lot of music this year.

Willie
Moderator
June 5th 2023


20213 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

If you've appreciated the last few Leprous albums or you like any of the 'Recommended By Reviewer' albums, you should make time for this.

MarsKid
Emeritus
June 6th 2023


21035 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

This isn't too Disney-fied unfortunately, I do not feel compelled to build a snowman. Einar is washed!

Willie
Moderator
June 6th 2023


20213 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

Yes, but do you compelled to sing, "Darling it's better down where it's wetter..."

gschwen
June 6th 2023


989 Comments


"Lots of space and slow builds."

Space Mountain.. perhaps?

Beardog
June 6th 2023


5232 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Record was quite good actually, way better than the singles had me expecting. This is like a less energetic / dynamic Leprous record, which I don't mind.

MarsKid
Emeritus
June 6th 2023


21035 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Sounds like straight-up art pop with occasional splashes of prog, although it has been a hot minute since I checked Leprous so I'm not sure of any similarities and differences.

Willie
Moderator
June 6th 2023


20213 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

I'm not super familiar with art pop, so I never made that connection. This is pretty different from any of the Leprous releases, even the last two.

MarsKid
Emeritus
June 6th 2023


21035 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Not sure if I properly "got" this first go. Let's give it another shot...

Willie
Moderator
June 6th 2023


20213 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

It took me four times before it started clicking. There's a lot of minimalist sections that definitely take time.

ShapeOfJizzToCum
June 7th 2023


872 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

On my small island of loving all the recent Leprous releases and I still have yet to check this, it's on the list I just keep forgetting it's out oop. Nice review.

Purpl3Spartan
June 7th 2023


8635 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This only confirms to me that leprous is a solo project

Coldplaz
June 7th 2023


204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Didn't have high expectations for this based on the singles but overall this is pretty solid, last 3 tracks are definitely the highlights.



Home still sucks though, it's just awkward and that rap verse is out of place. And Blue Light is a filler track which doesn't do much. Otherwise it's pretty consistent for almost 70 minute runtime.

Ectier
June 7th 2023


2626 Comments


The glass is empty is gorgeous holy shit

MarsKid
Emeritus
June 7th 2023


21035 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Yeah there are sections on this that fall flat, I think he could have made a pretty solid-to-amazing art pop album but stuck to playing things a bit safe with some standard prog. He's got the pipes to carry it, but sometimes it feels overblown or, like the aforementioned rap verse, a misfire.

Decapitat3d
June 7th 2023


27 Comments


Well that's enough to tell me to stay away from this album. Thanks for the review.



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