Release Date: 10.15.02
Record label: astralwerks
Norwegians Know Chill-Out
by: tom reiter
Röyksopp's debut release, Melody A.M., is destined to be the electronic album of 2002, and well into 2003 in the U.S. Torbjorn Brundtland and Svein Berge's recipe calls for a blending of chilled electronic synths, breakbeat, and unadulterated Norwegian emotion.
Melody A.M. opens with the Portishead-like "So Easy," a combination of breakbeat and floating opera that is simply amazing. "Eple" is also breakbeat, but more on the order of the Chemical Brothers with its bouncier beats and synth bleeps. These two tracks are the only ones of this style on Morning A.M., but they provide a sample of one of Röyksopp's abilities.
"Sparks" is the epitome of chill...silky smooth chords coat the track and are complimented with the retro-filtered vocals of Anelli Drecker. When it comes to emotion, "Sparks" is brimming with it. "In Space" is quietly playful, it's half-tempo feel forcing you think "slow down and relax."
Simple but catchy, "Poor Leno" picks things up a bit as the stand out dance track on Melody A.M. There's also two remix tracks of it on the included bonus disc, and is the first single (complete with video) off the album.
"Röyksopp's Night Out" is the least chilled cut, but without it the album would be less fulfilling. It's a break away from the norm not only for the album, but it gives the listener the impression it is for Röyksopp as well. The beats and intense synths seem to tell a story of a night filled with exciting peaks and events, complete with a plateau point of calmness that lasts just long enough for second wind of fun.
The last two cuts, ("Poor Leno," "A Higher Place") finish Melody A.M. quietly with the unique Norwegian form of melodramatic, electronic blues.
Melody A.M. elicits the ultimate chill mood, yet maintains a certain level of excitement that is sure to retain any listener's attention. 03-Dec-2002 3:38 PM