Heartbeat Radio

Heartbeat Radio

4.3 3
by Sondre Lerche
     
 

Over the course of his short career, Norwegian singer/songwriter Sondre Lerche has changed course more times than Steve McQueen racing through the streets of San Francisco in Bullitt. It's part of his charm that you never quite know what he's going to do next. From the chamber pop he started out with on his first two albums (likeSee more details below

Overview

Over the course of his short career, Norwegian singer/songwriter Sondre Lerche has changed course more times than Steve McQueen racing through the streets of San Francisco in Bullitt. It's part of his charm that you never quite know what he's going to do next. From the chamber pop he started out with on his first two albums (like the brilliant Two Way Monologue) to the late-night jazz album (Duper Sessions), the punky new wave record (Phantom Punch), and the soundtrack (Dan in Real Life), he's been somewhat of a chameleon. It's also part of his charm that everything he's done up to Heartbeat Radio has been very good. Lerche's songwriting is tricky but light on its feet, emotionally nuanced and quick-witted, too. His voice is rich and sweet, the musicians he plays with are always good, and his musical taste is always spot-on. Heartbeat Radio not only keeps with this tradition, but it's his best work to date. Rather than being some kind of surprising U-turn, the album is a consolidation of everything he's done so far. It has his best songwriting, most effective vocals, and most accomplished sound, and stands as some of the best modern pop around at the end of the decade. Lerche draws from classic sophisticated pop throughout, whether making reference to Prefab Sprout on the wonderfully smooth "I Cannot Let You Go" or Randy Newman on the melancholy "I Guess It's Gonna Rain Today," dipping into loungy atmospheres on the swooning "Like Lazenby," or tripping through the flowers like a lovestruck sunshine pop singer on "Words & Music." He also adds some spunk to the proceedings with cynical slams on the music biz ("Goodnight") and the radio ("Heartbeat Radio") that call to mind Elvis Costello at his most bitter, and peppy rockers like "Don't Look Now" and "Easy to Persuade." It's a well-rounded, extremely listenable album from a really talented singer/songwriter. If this is the style Lerche decides to stick with for a while, that will be cause for a round of hearty cheers from fans of smart, sophisticated guitar pop everywhere. If you are a fan of said music and you don't know Sondre Lerche, this is the place to start the discovery process.

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Editorial Reviews

The New Yorker - Sasha Frere-Jones
After trying Sinatra-style settings (not so hot) and a revved-up garage-rock sound (pretty good), Lerche has released Heartbeat Radio, on which lively and rococo are perfectly balanced.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/08/2009
Label:
Rounder / Umgd
UPC:
0011661909427
catalogNumber:
619094
Rank:
140161

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sondre Lerche   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Tom-Tom,Vocals,Background Vocals,Hand Clapping,Guitar (Nylon String),Guitar (Baritone)
Morten Skage   Bass
Sylvie Lewis   Background Vocals
David Vogt   Violin,Background Vocals
Kato Ådland   Banjo,Bass,Guitar,Piano,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Theremin,Background Vocals,Hand Clapping,Cavaquinho,Guitar (Nylon String)
Sissy Wish   Background Vocals
Kjetil Møster   Saxophone
Olav Dale   Tenor Saxophone
Matias Monsen   Cello

Technical Credits

Mari Boine Persen   String Arrangements
Sean O'Hagan   Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Emily Lazar   Mastering
Sondre Lerche   Arranger,Composer,Lyricist,Producer,String Arrangements
Sylvie Lewis   Composer,Lyricist
Kato Ådland   Arranger,Producer,Engineer,String Arrangements

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