I Was a King

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Tim Sendra
Norway's I Was a King are children and students of indie rock. If you were to closely examine their DNA you'd find equal elements of Amer-indie rock à la Dinosaur Jr., U.K. and U.S. shoegaze as perpetrated by Ride and the Lilys, jangling chord-change rock like the kind Teenage Fanclub basically perfected, and noise pop that's equal parts dreamy My Bloody Valentine, and classic rock Medicine influenced. On their second album, I Was a King, the core duo of guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Frode Stromstead and guitarist/vocalist Anne Lise Frokedal are joined in their pursuit of the guitar pop nirvana by Serena Maneesh's Emil Nikolaisen (himself no slouch at synthesizing similar ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Tim Sendra
Norway's I Was a King are children and students of indie rock. If you were to closely examine their DNA you'd find equal elements of Amer-indie rock à la Dinosaur Jr., U.K. and U.S. shoegaze as perpetrated by Ride and the Lilys, jangling chord-change rock like the kind Teenage Fanclub basically perfected, and noise pop that's equal parts dreamy My Bloody Valentine, and classic rock Medicine influenced. On their second album, I Was a King, the core duo of guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Frode Stromstead and guitarist/vocalist Anne Lise Frokedal are joined in their pursuit of the guitar pop nirvana by Serena Maneesh's Emil Nikolaisen (himself no slouch at synthesizing similar strands of indie rock). The album was recorded in Brooklyn with Ladybug Transistor's Gary Olson producing as well as in their native Norway and it comes very close to escaping the shadows of the giants they borrow so liberally from. You'd think a band that sticks to the playbook so closely would have no chance to create anything worth lauding, much less listening to, but in this case anyway you'd be mistaken. How do they do it? A couple ways, really. First of all, and most importantly, are the songs Stromstead wrote for the album. Their soaring melodies, hooky choruses, and ear-catching bridges make their modest thievery sound fresh. As sung in Stromstead and Frokedal's sweet voices, sometimes they even take flight as on "Not Like This" or "A Name It Hurts to Say." It also helps that the group steal from so many different places, it keeps things varied. There's nothing more suspect or potentially boring than a band that can only get it together enough to absorb one influence. I Was a King care enough to steal from many of the very best. And they don't try to hide it either, which is another point in their favor. Check the chiming, extremely TFC-sounding "Norman Bliek" (pronounced Blake) for proof of that. Maybe by the time the next album rolls along it might be time to stretch a bit and get away from the sound they've cobbled together, but for now I Was a King sounds just about right to anyone who is a fan of the history of noisy guitar pop of the last 20 years.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/7/2009
  • Label: The Control Group
  • UPC: 650384024712
  • Catalog Number: 40247
  • Sales rank: 122,272

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Still (2:06)
  2. 2 Step Aside (2:22)
  3. 3 Golden Years (2:34)
  4. 4 A Name That Hurts to Say (2:16)
  5. 5 California (0:57)
  6. 6 Interlude (0:22)
  7. 7 Breath (1:33)
  8. 8 Hard Luck Bad News (2:37)
  9. 9 Stay Warm (2:00)
  10. 10 Not Like This (2:03)
  11. 11 It's All You (3:43)
  12. 12 Weighing Anchor (2:46)
  13. 13 Extra Number (1:19)
  14. 14 Norman Bleik (2:57)
  15. 15 Fading Summer (1:47)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
I Was a King Primary Artist
Gary Olson Track Performer
Sufjan Stevens Track Performer
Emil Nikolaisen Track Performer
Marcus Forsgren Track Performer
Frode Strømstad Track Performer
Anne Lise Frøkedal Track Performer
Ole Myrvold Track Performer
Erlend Ringseth Track Performer
Technical Credits
Gary Olson Engineer
Björn Engelmann Mastering
Rune Mortensen Cover Design
Marcus Forsgren Engineer
Daniel Smith Engineer
Bjarne Stensli Engineer
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