2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Patchy , but the magical moments make it deserving of a wider audience,
This review is from: SOLOGNE (Audio CD)
Swedish musician Emil Svanangen (aka "Loney Dear") fifth album "Sologne" sees him continue to plough the same idiosyncratic furrow. Melancholy, deeply personal, with the same quavering independent aesthetic that recalls talents like Plush and Bright Eyes this music treads a querulous line between morose beauty and opaque dry introversion.
When it works like on the splendid album opener -"The Battle Of Trinidad And Tobago"- the gauzy guitars , hushed harmonies and Svanangen ,s peculiarly pitched quivering vocals - coalesce to form something almost magical and affecting. "The City" though more up-tempo affects the same response via the twinkling instrumentation and some near hysterical vocal s that convey his excitement at some new thrilling experience. "A Band" gradually builds on a two note keyboard refrain and escalating percussion till the vocals crash near the edge of the singers range. I like that kind of commitment, it always convey the artist really believes in the song, that it matters to them. You'll not get that from James Blunt or Will Young "In With The Arms" is a glistening yet hushed lament of love that again pushes the upper registers of the singer while "Grekerna" is a curious instrumental that sounds oddly medieval.
If the song is not strong enough, then it all sounds awkward and monotonous. "Le Fever" and "Won't You Do" are especially dull and insipid while "Losing It All" and "Where Are You Gogogoing To" are atmospheric and sonically fascinating but lack a memorable hook and the vocals stray too far the other side of twee and irritating .
I'd still recommending investigating this album on the strength of the moments of outstanding beauty and its nice to hear an artist uninterested in cracking the mainstream , happy to follow his own deeply personal path , unfettered by ego and the need for widespread acclaim, though of course that can happen by following and by staying true to your own ideals. I doubt "Sologne" will do that for Svanangen but hopefully future music will. Artists like Loney Dear deserve wider recognition however patchy the end result is.