Release Date: Sep 8, 2009
Record label: Rounder
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Heartbeat Radio is the sixth proper album from Norwegian transplant Sondre Lerche, following 2007's soundtrack album for the Steve Carell sapfest Dan in Real Life. As much as that film deserves to be looped infinitely in In-Flight Movie Hell, it kind of made perfect sense to peg Lerche to handle the tunes, most of which happily remained congruent with his ever-wistful, singer-songwriter romanticism. True, this stuff can get downright schmaltzy at times, but there's such a genuineness in his music that it's hardly worth aggressively faulting the guy for it-- cynics: take heed.
Norwegian Sondre Lerche brings an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality to his fifth full-length disc. He carefully places heartfelt lyrics over his trademark strings-and-acoustic-guitar sound, creating brilliant moments like an elegantly arranged I Guess It's Gonna Rain Today and Elliott Smithesque Pioneer. [rssbreak] Lerche's knack for singing about heartache in a colloquial, relatable way is offered up in spades, but so is overbearing twee-ness.
Musical shape-shifter moves toward orchestral popSondre Lerche has proven himself remarkably malleable in his short career, sliding effortlessly from unassuming singer/songwriter pop and classy jazz balladry to elbow-throwing guitar rock and movie scores. But while he’s become a master excavator, he has yet to find creative ground to claim as his own. Still only 26, the Norwegian neo-pop classicist inches a bit closer to that goal with Heartbeat Radio, his fifth album and the first on which he simultaneously indulges all the sides of his songwriting persona.
The Norwegian transplant Sondre Lerche, a music industry veteran at only 27, possesses considerable talent, but his new album Heartbeat Radio finds him working too hard toward no discernible end. The album is about love in its most mundane forms—passing the morning paper back and forth over tea, squabbling, driving, chatting. It’s a minor work for minor moods, but it mostly fails to achieve even its modest intentions.