13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 7 July 2004
Closer in mood to Silje's earlier Port Of Call than her more recent At First Light, the songs are mainly light jazz, veering occasionally towards an almost rock 'n' roll feel or sometimes even ballady folk. Breaking with her traditional three or four covers, here only one track is not written by the partnership of Silje and her lyricist Mike McGurk. Another collaboration with the excellent Tord Gustavsen Trio has resulted in another quality album. Perhaps ironically, the song that is most distinctly Silje (or, more correctly, most distinctly Tord and the boys) is the only one she didn't write.
The biggest problem with the album is that it lacks the one or two really outstanding tracks that both of her most recent previous albums had. A few of the songs threaten once or twice to be really great, but then settle back into much of the same rather than being really exciting. It seems a bit rude to make this criticism, since the standard of songwriting is high; it's just that this particular album is easier to take either in short bursts or as background music, whereas both Port Of Call and At First Light deserved much more attention.
Furthermore, Silje's voice has changed very slightly or maybe has been mixed a little differently; certainly it seems a bit harder-edged and slightly less even here than in her previous work. Mind you, her voice was so beautifully soft to begin with that this hardly counts as a criticism either.
Still, Silje does at least include her usual mix of moods from melancholy to defiance.
Ultimately, then, Nightwatch is an album that is great to dip into or have on quietly during a romantic dinner, but less so to listen to from start to finish.
on 30 April 2006
This is the most recent Silje Nergaard CD and is similar in feel to the 2 previous ones and a world away from her debut, which was a great pop album. The first 5 songs are excellent (I Don't Want to See You Cry is a fantastic pop song) and In a Sentence is nearly as good. Then comes Take A Long Long Walk arrives which sounds a bit like Steely Dan but goes on a bit and starts to grate. The cover of This Is Not America is rather better than Bowie's version, being sheer audio gorgeousness. The next 2 are so-so and the final track is a return to form. Silje is unusual in that she is a singer who writes the music and not the words. The lyrics by Mike McGurk are variable from excellent (You Send Me Flowers and I Don't Want to See You Cry) to contrived (In a Sentence). The last track is the only one where Silje writes the lyrics as well as the music.
Over the years Silje's voice has radically changed and is currently a little bit girlish and her accent is American rather than Norwegian. It tends to be a bit twee at times but if you like lightweight jazz then this is highly recommended.