Friday, January 27, 2006

CD Review: Magnet - The Tourniquet

Magnet, Even Johansen, has attracted acclaim for his low key pop melodies. He's a major star in his native Norway. There have been three EP's (Where Happiness Lives, Chasing Dreams, The Day We Left Town) for Ultimate Dilemma and one full length, On Your Side, all infused with a melancholic simple beauty. His new album, The Tourniquet, on Filter US Recordings continues in the same style, but with a more optimistic outlook.

Lead off song "Hold On" begins with a spare arrangement before ending with a Beach Boys lushness channeling some Friends era positive TM sort of vibes, but there's a James Taylor meets Sufjan Stevens feel over much of the album. "The Pacemaker" could pass as British mope rock. There's a sublime lullaby with "All You Ask" and "Fall At Your Feet" has a cinematic flair that suggests Magnet's ultimate future is in soundtracks. A bonus track is included on this American release - "This Bird Can Fly", but it has the sound of a leftover and could have been omitted.

The Tourniquet was recorded in Bergen, Norway among the fjords and was finished in the sunshine of Los Angeles assisted by Jason Falkner of Jellyfish fame. It's languid pop with a frosty exterior befitting such a pairing and while I might wish for a rawer American current, its Old World charm is quite winning when the time is right. You wouldn't listen to this to get yourself psyched up. It's chilling out music perfect for February twilight listening. The Tourniquet will be release on February 14th.

No comments: