3

3

by Susanna and the Magical Orchestra
     
 

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Susanna Wallumrød's albums with and without the Magical Orchestra (aka Jaga Jazzist's Morten Qvenild) have all taken a similar approach, whether she focuses on her own songs (List of Lights and Buoys, Sonata Mix Dwarf Cosmos) or the songs of others (

Overview

Susanna Wallumrød's albums with and without the Magical Orchestra (aka Jaga Jazzist's Morten Qvenild) have all taken a similar approach, whether she focuses on her own songs (List of Lights and Buoys, Sonata Mix Dwarf Cosmos) or the songs of others (Melody Mountain, Flower of Evil): her subtly remarkable voice -- which carries within it echoes of singers from Nina Simone to Karen Carpenter -- came first and foremost, surrounded by abstract arrangements soft enough not to detract from her vocals, but interesting enough to enhance them. Often, she sounded like she was singing with the weight of the world on her shoulders, but on the simply named 3, she and Qvenild sound like they're bound for the stars. Lighter and more overtly electronic than Susanna & the Magical Orchestra's previous work, these songs have a sci-fi glamour and wistfulness to them, as well as a grandeur that suggests vast dark skies filled with twinkling lights. 3 begins with one of its boldest departures, "Recall," which sets Wallumrød's voice adrift on bubbling analog synths, weaving a hypnotic spell broken by huge drums that sound all the more massive compared to the polite percussion on her previous work. "Palpatine's Dream" is even more striking, a song about Star Wars' Sith lord made sleek and strangely sexy with electronics that stream by like meteorites and backing vocals by Wildbirds & Peacedrums' Mariam Wallentin and Susanna's brother Fredrik Wallumrød. Not all of 3 is this drastically different than what came before it. Gently insightful songs like "The Game" and "Come On" could have appeared on Wallumrød's earlier albums, and she includes a couple of covers that reinforce what a gifted interpreter she is: Roy Harper's "Another Day" becomes a dead-of-night piano meditation, and Rush's "Subdivisions" is turned into a sparkling, ironically detached manifesto against conformity. Throughout, Wallumrød, Qvenild, and company never lose the purity of their vision, particularly on "Lost," an aching ballad so simple and vulnerable it feels like a cover when it actually isn't, and "Someday," which blends the album's alien frostiness with all-too-human intimacy, hope, and despair. Ambitious and diverse, 3 opens new possibilities for Susanna & the Magical Orchestra, but it shares the sense of wonder and beauty in all of their music.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/01/2009
Label:
Rune Grammofon
UPC:
7033662020904
catalogNumber:
2090
Rank:
295789

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Susanna and the Magical Orchestra   Primary Artist
Andreas Mjos   Vibes
Helge Sten   Guitar,Keyboards
Morten Qvenild   Keyboards
Susanna Wallumrød   Vocals
Fredrik Wallumrød   Vocals
Erland Dahlen   Percussion,Drums
Mariam Wallentin   Vocals
Morten Barrikmo Engebretsen   Bass Clarinet

Technical Credits

Roy Harper   Composer,Lyricist
Geddy Lee   Composer
Alex Lifeson   Composer
Neil Peart   Composer,Lyricist
Deathprod   Producer
Kim Hiorthøy   Cover Design
Helge Sten   Engineer
Morten Qvenild   Composer,Lyricist
Susanna and the Magical Orchestra   Arranger,Programming,Producer,Engineer
Susanna Wallumrød   Composer

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