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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously Good
This is thoroughly exciting stuff. Back in 2001, I bought Melody A.M. and have subsequently got it out every summer and given it a good listen but after four years, it was time for a follow-up.
In a time where some claim the 'death' of dance music, and where indie bands are invading dance festivals all over, groups like Royksopp are needed to keep the reputation of...
Published on 7 Jun. 2005 by kdonn2410

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Are you getting a real Audio CD?
Just bought a used copy of this on "CD". Buyer beware! Does it have the "CD Audio" logo on the case? Or, like my copy, is it "EMI copy controlled"? If it's the latter, you might find that your CD player doesn't play it properly, with the music skipping very slightly every so often. Presumably, new editions of this album are on proper CD, rather...
Published 16 months ago by David Ryman


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who thought that Melody AM could be bettered?!, 7 July 2005
By 
R. L. Peacock "Rob" (Chelmsford, Essex) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Understanding (Audio CD)
Okay, so this doesnt give use the chilled relaxed sounds of ethereal Norway that we have come to expect from Royksopp. However the changed in tempo is greatly recieved, and has made this album, more accessible, but at the same time more complex. The level of production on this album is a lot higher, however, some songs let us down, such as Sombre Detune, and 49 Percent, other tracks, especially 'Follow My Ruin', 'What Else Is There' and 'Circuit Breaker', definately exceed anything Royksopp have done before. This is helped by the extensive use of more instruments, not just 'samplers and synths'(Or whatever electronic artists use), where the combination of real instruments and electronic sounds compliments the album superbly.
The radio single 'Only This Moment' may get you to believe this is another Melody AM, due to its similarity to Eple, but the rest of the album does not follow suit, and greatly surpasses my expectations. However this album was eagerly awaited by me, and many others, as my first album I bought was Melody AM, leading my music taste through the likes of Timo Maas, Groove Armada, and Way Out West.
You need this album, Royksopp deserve it's sale, after the effort that they have so evidently put into their Understanding. Keep listening to it, it gets better the more you listen, dont be quick to judge.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh, 6 Aug. 2005
By 
G. Austin (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Understanding (Audio CD)
this album for me was a huge surprise, i put it on my mac and then my ipod and i swear that it is geting its more than fair share of plays!!!
There is so much variety but at the same time it blends in together to make one beautiful album, if you are expecting a carbon copy of Melody A.M then of course you will be dissapointed!!! Royksopp are not a one trick pony which is lovely to see!!
This is a must have album for anyone who enjoys music.
Nice job lads!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome ! Don't waste time reading the reviews - buy it !, 5 July 2005
By 
Mr. J. Hunt "pistepirate" (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Understanding [2CD] (Audio CD)
I'm normally not one for reviewing albums - but this merits some (actually a lot!) of my time. Melody AM was a great intro to Royksopp - and this is a *superb* follow on album ! There are more vocals on this album, and there are some hints of Tangerine Dream in here as well; which makes for some amazing tracks. If you like Tangerine Dream, Lemon Jelly, Ulrich Schnauss, Zero 7 - you'll love this !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sharing the Understanding !!!, 2 Aug. 2005
By 
Darren Janes "darrenloopy" (Amsterdam, netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Understanding [2CD] (Audio CD)
I simply loved Melody AM when it came out, and was one of those CD's I would listen to over and over.
But..., and there's always a but...I felt there was something missing...like passion, like something to fill the spaces, pop the air bubbles!
When listening to Melody AM I would imagine what the album would sound like with some hot-blooded 'mojo' added!
Well, now all I have to do is put on The Understanding, and find what I was looking for in the 1st album.
The Understanding puts meats on the bones of the 1st album!!!
As with the 1st, there is a healthy mix of grooves to keep you interested until the end, and is now boosted by a number of vocalists adding their energies to the mix.
It's difficult to 'single' out which track kicks my ass the most, but currently am enjoying the cheeky funk of 49 Percent.
Royksopp have grown some facial hair with this album, just as they were meant to !!! ;-)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not like Melody AM, 2 Oct. 2007
By 
This review is from: The Understanding (Audio CD)
Bought this a while back on the strength of Melody AM. Parked it. Came back to it and played it on my iPod shuffle. Where I got confused. Parts of this album sound like the Beloved, a lot of it sounds like Air and some of it reminds me of Erlend Oye's DJ Kicks album. I had to check when I got home what I had been listening to.

It's a real journey through late 90s/early noughties synth pop. It doesn't have some of the ethereal lightness of Melody AM, nor does it have the same sense of consistency of sound. That said, it is a grower and if you have some Air/Beloved/Erlend Oye in your music collection you're likely to enjoy it.

Personally I like it. It's an interesting and engaging listen. But it does feel more like a compilation album than one from a single band.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Are you getting a real Audio CD?, 1 Feb. 2014
By 
David Ryman "Dave" (Surrey, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Understanding (Audio CD)
Just bought a used copy of this on "CD". Buyer beware! Does it have the "CD Audio" logo on the case? Or, like my copy, is it "EMI copy controlled"? If it's the latter, you might find that your CD player doesn't play it properly, with the music skipping very slightly every so often. Presumably, new editions of this album are on proper CD, rather than EMI ripping off ordinary consumers in order to fight off "pirates", but it's worth checking if you've spent any substantial amount on it.

I only paid £1.50 for it secondhand, and it's not a great album anyway, so I'll make do with the copy i've got.

I do notice Amazon don't show an image of the back cover.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The next level, 4 July 2005
By 
Frances Edwell (St Albans, Hertfordshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Understanding [2CD] (Audio CD)
I'm no expert but I have just listened to the album for the first time and there are songs that knock you out already. 49%, Circuit Breaker, and Alpha Male (it builds and your hairs are standing on end!). Only this moment is already a hit. Dead to the World should be played in every beauty spa, it's the equivalent of a aromatherapy body massage. This is definitely the sound of the summer, you'll hear it in every beach bar.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shop for Royksopp, 5 July 2005
By 
Mr. A. J. Richards "yourbiteall" (Weston Super Mare) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Understanding (Audio CD)
I was much looking forward to this album, especially after the delights of their last album(melody a.m), but as with many highly anticipated thoughts on my first listen i just wasnt hooked. Had i overlooked something? Had i not been concentrating enough while listening? Had i let the excitement and the hype get to me? Well, the answer is no to all of the above, i just hadnt given it a fair chance. The Understanding is a good album, better than most, but its just not as good as melody a.m. However there are a number of brilliant tracks on the album and here is my rundown of each track--
1.Triumphant 8/10= One of the best tracks on the album. Once all its musical elements are in place it really is head nodding stuff with a catchy little piano riff. not long enough though and perhaps one too many cymbal clashes towards the end. Great beat.
2.Only this moment 9/10= Didnt like it as much as i do now from when i originally heard it but it grows on you. The lyrics are magical and give the tune that special key ingredient yet they are not overpowering which is important for this sort of music. Very much like thier stuff on melody a.m.
3.49 Percent 8/10= A more uptempo tune heavily focused on beats and the snare in it is quality. didnt like the lyrical arrangement though. sounds a bit like lemon jelly's new stuff from earlier in the year.
4.Sombre Detune 7/10= A very dark little number this with a good breakbeat and blip sounds but it soon becomes a little boring.
5.Follow my ruin 5/10= Ive noticed a lot of critics rave about this tune but i personally think it is the worst tune on the album. It doesnt seem to be coherant or orderly and has a familiar sounding beat which lacks punch.
6.Beautiful day without you 9/10= After a so/so start this album flows nicely to the finish and this track is definately beautiful. Lovely flowing rythms and interesting beat backed up with amazing singing.
7.What else is there? 10/10= Probably the best tune on the album. Imagine an orbital tune mixed by goldfrapp with bjork sounding lyrics and this would be the result. Kicks in sraight away with a catchy breakbeat and wonderful cinematic soundscapes and as the track progresses royksopp add little sounds and snares etc to the tune. good use of strings, just wanted this track to go on and on.
8.Circuit breaker 8/10= An uptempo track which is probably the best to have a dance to. Quite a silly little tune to be honest, royksopp letting thier hair down and having a bit of fun, like they did with poor leno, which ithough was a tad out of place but still a good tune on melody a.m.
9.Alpha male 10/10= This is where royksopp begin thier definition of what The understanding is all about. An epic 8 minute masterpiece which has an orbital/vangelis type begining and then turns into a progressive rock sounding track but still with an air of beauty and electronica rythms in the background to keep it authentic. Great bassline and like What else is there? royksopp add toms and pads at various stages of the track. Awsome!!
10.Someone like me 9/10= Back to the sound that made them famous, this a jazzy number with bassy guitar sounds that get you excited and another defining beat(claps used as the snare sound is not always agood thing, makes tunes sound cheesy, but in this case it works well) lyrics are subtle and easylistening funk is the order of the day with this track.
11. Dead to the world 8/10= Things start to gat laid back now and this is royksopp's homage to film scores. this is their classical composition which would have sounded just as good with a breakbeat behind it(i dreamt) Seriously though this is haunting stuuff and just as you finish listening to this track you realise "this album has been preety damn good".
12.Tristesse globale 8/10= To round everything off is another classical score. Itsounds a bit like the piano riff from the truman show but alittle tweak here and there. Fades out after about 2 minutes so a little pointless.
To summarise this album is very progressive and experimental which may put you off when you first listen to it, but it definately grows on you. You can't but help not let the sounds of royksopp engulf you, thats what they do and thats why they are the best electronical music makers since orbital. Believe me when i say, listen to both of thier albums one after the other(melody a.m first) and tell me you dont wanna hear thier third album! I'll bet you will want it to come out tomorrow!! Melody A.M. was more about working on the beats, where as Understanding is about the progression of the melodys and the sound scapes. And with both albums having some cracking tracks on them that combine the two together thier third album should be a strong contender for 10/10. Cant wait to sse these guys live at the jazz cafe. Go buy and enjoy the nordic duo!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ethereal dreamy mood music, 11 May 2009
This review is from: The Understanding (Audio CD)
Royksopp's ethereal and nebulous electro-pop makes great background music and is also good to chill to. Ideal if you've got friends round for a meal but a little too nondescript to get too worked-up about. Buy it on here as it's a good price compared to the record stores, however just don't expect too much and you won't be disappointed.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As Good As "Melody AM"; Perhaps Better, 10 July 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Understanding [2CD] (Audio CD)
I've been listening to "The Understanding" since before it was released. A friend of mine snagged the MP3s off a torrent on the Internet. My purchased copy just arrived in the mail. I bought Royksopp's first release, Melody AM, when it came out years ago. I enjoyed Melody AM's chilled out tracks a lot. Their sound, though not original, is very cool and unique.
Some people have given their new, second, offering a poor review. Frankly, I don't "understand" why. This new album, though not as chilled as Melody AM, is very enjoyable and shows that Royksopp have progressed and are still as fresh as ever. The Nordic feel Melody AM has is still present here although they have departed from the laidback and are going for more upbeat and funky rhythms this go round.
It's hard to say which album is better. I like both of them equally.
By any account, the negative comments I have read by a few people on here are not warranted. This is a cool album from a cool band.
You decide.
Dennis
San Diego, CA
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