I've been Skallanded...,
This review is from: Skallander (Audio CD)
I don't know if Type records are being serious and are a bit deluded or completely taking the piss with the accolade stickers they put on their cds. The one for 2007's North Sea album confused the hell out of me and this one for Skallander is no different; "A sun-bleached collection of twisted acoustic pop songs......which is sure to win over fans of Elliott Smith or Kings of Convenience". Hmmmm......
As with a big portion of releases from Type, Skallander is actually quite dark and definitely comes way over from left-field. The first lyric on the album is; "The dark stain spreads into a sea, it looks like me. Nothing you can say will make it go away, I kick you down the stairs and you ran away laughing...". Happy happy joy joy! I've never been known to shy away from dark music so I listen on. You do actually get a "sun-bleached" feel from this, implying it's mellow, lazy and easy going. Whilst being quite dark, the wonderful acoustic guitar playing shines through and keeps the lyrics afloat. The singer's voice is fairly soft and non-descript but does fit perfectly in a hazy, complementary way.
Dismemberment is definitely my favourite track; it's weirdly catchy and playful and opens with the lyric; "She arrived home to find that the wolf had eaten her things". Brilliant! The layered harmonised vocal draws you into the track and make it one of those moments where you pat yourself on the back, congratulating yourself on a great recent purchase.
Skallander don't vary their approach much; opting for acoustic guitar and soft vocal; all the while various keys, horns & other accompaniments and backings filter in and out of the proceedings. There is never a moment where one instrument or element overpowers another; it's a very gentle album but never gets dull as albums of a similar nature often do.
Skallander has been a great surprise for me and it easily crept into my top 10 favourite records of 2007 and that is a very difficult thing to do as that year was of an extremely high standard.
So, Skallander is an incredibly enjoyable and interesting listen and those who have patience and enjoy the odd curve-ball should lap this up eagerly.