Reviews 2090

Norwegian duo with knack for carving classy covers. Susanna Wallumrod and Morten Qvenild followed their 2004 debut with a covers album, Melody Mountain, and it´s no criticism to say that the two covers here stand out: this minimalist sound, flecked with jazz or electronica, exposes the songs most intimately. So the poignancy of Roy Harper´s "Another Day" and the wit of Rush´s "Subdivisions" glisten afresh. The Norwegian´s own songs are deliberately delicate, with "Guiding Light" recalling Lionheart-era Kate Bush and "Someday" a flickering candle of hope. Members of Wildbirds And Peacedrums and Madrugada guest, in tune with the tastefulness. 4/5.
Uncut (UK)

Norwegian duo prove 3 is the magical number. Best known for their 2006 covers album Melody Mountain, Susanna And The Magical Orchestra have veered dangerously close to become the arthouse Novelle Vague. Their third album, however, shows there´s more to Susanna Wallumrod and Morten Qvenild than incongruous takes on Crazy, Crazy Nights and It´s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock & Roll). While the band- bolstered by members of Jaga Jazzist and Wildbirds & Peacedrums - can´t resist a version of Rush´s Subdivisions, 3 has an ancient-modern character of its own. Recall has the Hounds Of Love on its tail, Palpatine´s Dream is through-the-looking-glass electro-pop - yet the piano introspection of Lost sounds completely off-grid. Not a destination if you wanna rock & roll, but otherwise idyllic. 4/5.
Mojo (UK)

Dominated by Susanna´s impressive, considered tone, the music dances around her in flighty shimmers with markedly more apparent electronic sounds added to the mix. "3" demands your full attention and is worth every minute spent on it.
Clash (UK)

Karen Carpenter meets Joy Division in gothic synth-pop heaven. The cult Norwegian duo´s third album more than upholds their excellent standards while offering a further twist to the tale: a full conversion to beyond-the-pale 1980s keyboard sounds. Not all the 10 songs here are equally good but at it´s best - "Recall", "Someday", "Palpatine´s Dream", a beautiful cover of Roy Harper´s "Another Day" - this is truly awe-inspiring music, provoking deep thoughts and sublime feelings.
The Independent On Sunday (UK)

Perhaps it´s the overall beauty of Susanna´s wistfully appealing new age-y vocals on originals such as "Recall" and "Game" and a perceptive interpretation of Roy Harper´s "Another Day" that will ultimately enable them to succeed on word-of-mouth recommendation rather than any possible air-time - that may come later. Though by no means a Kate Bush or Björk-soundalike, Susanna exhibits similar theatrical traits, while some of her lyrical scans are faintly reminiscent of Joni Mitchell. That said, Susanna is unquestionably her own woman.

Jazzwise (UK)

The arrangements here are a shade more electronically focused, and Wallumrød´s vocals have an assertive edge that lends her a more diva-ish air. As ever, it´s very tasteful, thoughtful, Sunday-morning listening. All that´s lacking, still, is a killer tune to break the spell of calm introspection. STMO almost manage this on the uplifting chorus of the album closer, Someday.
The Sunday Times (UK)

Offering a suite of self-penned songs which mix atmospheric vocals with electronica arrangements that provide a subtle, yet moody backdrop, this is an absorbing album to explore and savour.
Record Collector (UK)

...Im Fokus aber steht die klare, immer ein wenig melancholisch wirkende Stimme von Susanna, die in Verbindung mit den kleinen elektronischen Soundwelten um sie herum in einen verträumten und zugleich dunklen Kosmos hineinziehen. Dieses Mal sind nach dem letzten Cover-Album „Melody Mountain“ nur zwei Fremdkompositionen zu hören: Roy Harpers „Another Day“ und „Subdivions“ der kanadischen Rockband Rush. Aus beiden Stücken macht Susanna wieder ihre ganz eigenen, tempomäßig verschleppten und im Falle von „Subdivions“ auch noch ziemlich synthesizerlastigen Nummern. Man meint ja, ihr Konzept des minimierten, des leisen Liedes müsse sich doch irgendwann erschöpfen. Auf „3“ tut es das jedenfalls noch nicht.   
Jazzthetik (DE)

…Ihr dritter Streich enthält meist eigene Stücke und entstand tief in den norwegischen Wäldern. Ähnlich wie Goldfrapp entführt das Elektronik-Duo in entrückte, manchmal dunkle Gefühls- und Gedankenwelten. Susanna Wallumrøds feenhafte Stimme ist dabei der Leitstrahl.
Coolibri (DE)

Keine Chance, nach der Stimme der norwegischen Singer-Songwriterin Susanna Karolina Wallumrød nicht süchtig zu werden. Ihre reduzierte Musik schwelgt in Melancholie und geht mit jedem Hören tiefer…. Das klingt zeitlos schön, unaufgeregt und einfach wundervoll, zieht in diesem Fall mitunter auch das Tempo an und gräbt sich in die Seele.
Leipziger Volkszeitung (DE)

…Im Mittelpunkt stehen immer richtige Songs, die Susanna betörend intoniert. Mit ihrer facettenreichen Stimme kreuzt sie die musikalischen Genres, tönt mal glockenrein wie eine Folksängerin, mal ätherisch entrückt, mal experimentierfreudig wie eine Jazz-Vokalistin…
Schnüss (DE)   (german)   (german)   (german)   (german)   (german)   (german)   (dutch)   (french)   (swedish)   (swedish)   (swedish interview)