$19.99 Limited CDx2
||"Only This Moment"
||"Someone Like Me"
You know how every year there's an album that you can't escape,
be it cocktail parties, brunches or shopping for shoes in SoHo?
Daft Punk's Homework, Air's Moon Safari, The
K & D Sessions from Kruder & Dorfmeister, or Zero
7's Simple Things are ones that come to my mind. Röyksopp's
2001 debut is another. Four years after Melody A.M. and
certainly long overdue, the Norwegian duo of Torbjörn Brundtland
and Svein Berge are back with their follow-up, The Understanding,
and I predict there will be no escaping this one either. From
the lush electronic production to the rich, atmospheric beds of
synthesizers, Röyksopp's latest picks up and takes off from
where their previous, million-selling record left us, comfortably
shaking off the chill-out tag by focusing more on melody, variety
Though fellow countryman Erlend Øye doesn't return for
another appearance, Brundtland and Berge's voices are equally
suitable, delivering the same sort of breathy melodies in songs
like the trance-tastic (thank you Duane) "Only This Moment"
and the shuffle-beat bliss-out of "Someone Like Me."
During the mid-tempo melancholy of "What Else Is There,"
the Knife vocalist Karin Dreijer's unique hybrid of Bjork and
Kate Bush adds an alien element to the already chilly otherworld
musicscape. In contrast, tracks like "Circuit Breaker,"
(which features some nice, soulful vocal accents from Kate Havnevik)
and the vocoder'ed "Beautiful Day Without You" are solid
slices of future funk. A good balance between modern disco, downtempo
pop, and the pulsing soundscapes of ambient Eno meets epic Vangelis,
Röyksopp's new album will be the perfect complement for sipping
wine on a roof with a few close friends while gazing across the
East River, getting down during a late night in Ibiza, and everything
in between, including cocktail parties, brunches and shoe shopping.
(Limited Edition includes a second disc with five bonus cuts.)