Reviews 2128

Following er own covers record (2008´s Flower of Evil), her latest shows off her remarkable, volatile songcraft - somewhere between Carole King´s ivory-scampering melodic loveliness and Nico´s minimalist froideur, with echoes of Bonnie "Prince" Billy , whose current sidekick, Emmett Kelly, adds guitar and harmonies throughout. Her world is perplexing: on opener "Imagine" she wonders about kissing a bird (and the possible attentions of a human); "Oh, I Am Stuck" finds her "in a field ... with chains on my hands and my feet", to music that could hardly be further from chain-gang blues. Exquisitely sung, swept over with stormy emotions, "Wild Dog "´s autumnal mysteries are alluring indeed. 4/5.
Mojo (UK)

Brilliantly unexpected and exquisitely executed though her takes on "Jailbreak", "Crazy Crazy Nights" et al were, Susanna Wallumrød risked overdosing her audience on covers. Now, after one album of reinventions with her Magical Orchestra and one solo, the singer-songwriter / pianist delivers another set of originals. The timbre of Susanna´s sublime voice guarantees a forlorn vulnerability, but beneath the jazz-folk-toned melancholia there´sa new dramatic intensity. With a band the features Bonnie "Prince" Billy´s sometime guitarist Emmett Kelly, Susanna flirts with cosmic pop in "Rolling On Rolling Stone", while the sensual "Wild Horse Wild Dog" sees her marrying Kate Bush with Sondheim and Slint. 8/10.
Uncut (UK)

Not one for declamatory statements or fast tempos, she has, since her debut album in 2004, been quietly refining her art ... this could well be her best album yet. She has perfected the art of making dark moods seem attractive, and while this album of originals is hardly music to slash your wrists by, their emotional depth is moving and affecting, which goes to the heart of her art. 4/5.
Jazzwise (UK)

Her eight release is a stunning collection of eclectic songs that really make the most of her smoky vocals. Perhaps better known for her unique re-workings of a diverse selection of chart songs with the Magical Orchestra, Wallumrød´s selfpenned material absolutely deserves the full attention of anyone with an appreciation of the female voice ... At just over 30 minutes this is a short, sweet introduction to this talented young musician, and on an adventurous underground label too.
Prog (UK)

Susanna K. Wallumrød´s fourth solo album "Wild Dog" is a quite exceptionally beautiful collection of sophisticated, emotionally resonant, finely crafted songwriting. At the heart of it all is Susanna's sublime voice, moving effortlessly from seductive hushed intimacy to soaring emotional heights, perfectly balanced by the discrete, subtle arrangements of piano, guitar, bass, percussion and trings of her collaborators, which include Bonnie " Prince "Billy's Emmett Kelly, Jeremy Gara of Arcade Fires and Deathprod's Helge Sten. Barely more than half an hour long," Wild Dog "´s immediate simplicity gives space for an astonishing emotional depth amidst its ten short but exquisitely honed songs.
Rock-a-Rolla (UK)

This is her third solo album and it´sa damn fine collection of haunted, melancholy piano ballad originals, with enough instrumental and production flourishes to make it stand out. The excellent Wild Horse Wild Dog veers into noisier territory with some Crazy Horse guitar but for the most part the mood is distinctly desolate and heartbroken. I´d love to not resort to a Kate Bush comparison but it is valid - something in the arrangements and multi-tracked voices betrays a definite influence - but this is stirring stuff.
Narc (UK)

"Wild Dog" (Rune gramophone RCD 2128) by Susanna is actually an EP due to the brevity, but that's a good thing. Because many publications today suffer from a long term. Instrumentalists can rarely maintain the tension arc in the studio for seventy minutes or more. Sometimes less is more - as in the present case. On her eighth (!) Album and a visit to ECM in the meantime, the Norwegian designs fragile pop anthems that, fortunately, are not suitable for format radio. Sadly beautiful melodies, wrapped in sinister arrangements of claustrophobic warmth.
Jazzpodium (DE)

Last week, the weekly newspaper Morgenbladet asked a hundred musicians about their 100 favorite Norwegian albums. It comes as no surprise when Garbarek and Motorpsycho take the top spots. But it is surprising that the singer-songwriter Susanna Wallumrød was represented with three CDs. But it wouldn't have to, because what she delivers with her eighth release in eight years is again without ifs and buts. Grandiose songs, which she wrote this time, no cover versions like most of the time, arrangements reduced to the core, albeit in a somewhat larger line-up, above that her quasi-sacred voice, which gets under your skin and becomes addictive. Over and over again.
Leipziger Volkszeitung (DE)

Rainy weather music. Charismatic female voice in the middle of calm, fine, well-instrumented tones. While so many women have broadcast the whole thing on the radio and either stayed true to their qualitative demands (beautiful), or produce insignificant singsong (rather stupid and a shame), the Norwegian Susanna Wallumrød has simply preserved her self and is waiting in 2012 their eighth long groove (including those with their magical orchestra). And the woman knows exactly what she can do - and so, with her sometimes fragile, sometimes strong voice, she moves safely on terrains such as pop, chanson, jazz and soul, always circumnavigating the insignificance and exhausting the compositional possibilities. More Tori Amos, Silje Nergaard and Björk than Katie Melua and Norah Jones. More soundtrack for a demanding film than for Apple and Vodafone advertising. Close your eyes, enjoy.
Noisy Neighbors (DE)

Dog that bark ... don't bite. Susanna's new album “Wild Dog” leaves the listener intact but not unimpressed. It is the eighth album by the Norwegian, who was previously known for some cover songs like “Halleluja”. On her current album, Susanna is now proving her talent as a songwriter. The instrumentalization is somewhat reminiscent of Anna Ternheim, but Susanna is more unconventional. The song “Wild Horse Wild Dog” looks almost threatening due to the dark, rough bass and Susanna's light vocals in contrast. "Her Eyes" is much gentler when Susanna sings "Her Eyes were gray, her Eyes were golden" in a tender, almost fragile voice and in "Lonely Heart" you want to melt away to singing and playing the piano. A very nice varied album, that has just the right mix of soulful, gentle and dark, somewhat mythical songs to captivate to the end. 4/6.
Nordis magasin (DE)

Reluctantly, this characteristic generally also applies to the music of Susanna Karolina Wallumrød. The Norwegian singer / songwriter and pianist has mostly recorded rather untrue pieces of music on her new CD “Wild Dog”. All their own songs, which move stylistically between Kammerfolk jazz and rock. The rather dark moods are fascinating, but then suddenly a drum kit crashes into the violent rock guitar. In addition, this intensive-acting vocals, which Susanna always gets under your skin anyway.
Bauer newspaper house (DE)    (live review)