Artist Spotlight

Review: Sondre Lerche, “Please”

No Comments 7 September 2014

Review: Sondre Lerche, “Please”

“Sondre Lerche’s emotional torture is pure pop gold, and has opened him up even further with one of the most creative and satisfying records of the year. The talent has always been undeniable, but with Please he catapults himself into another statosphere.”

Artist: Sondre Lerche

Album: Please

Genre: Pop

RIYL: Regina Spektor, David Bowie, Rufus Wainwright

Sondre Lerche Please

There’s something incredibly wonderful and surprising about the leadoff track from Sondre Lerche’s new album, Please. The critically-acclaimed Norwegian artist is releasing new material hot on the heels of a divorce and it’s fueled by a raw, imaginative force of nature. And you can dance to it.

Those who are already aware of Lerche’s material know that he dabbles in multiple genres and has a knack for melding those influences in creative ways inside gorgeous pop songs. But what’s most exciting about this release is the utter unpredictability of it all; there isn’t a single song on this record that goes where you think it’s going to as a listener. That’s risky and fascinating on a lot of levels. And as a listener, it’s easy to imagine yourself going through the many stages of pain, grief, sadness and acceptance moving on from your own beautiful mess of a life.

“Bad Law” is the leadoff track, and apart from a gloriously self-indulgent video version, the song itself is visceral and veers off into random acts of aggressive musicality all set to a dance beat. The result is completely therapeutic for both singer and music fan. “At Times We Live Alone” is another standout, a slow-rolling and vulnerable performance that not only shows off Lerche’s immense vocal talents, but also his total emotional commitment to his own words. It’s quite stunning in its simplicity, complete with ambient noises and wonderfully weird accompaniment choices.

“Sentimentalist” again taps into a vulnerable, raw Lerche who just lets it rip vocally moving from a growl to a howl to a falsetto. The distorted effects at the end only add to the chaotic glory. “After the Exorcism” takes a page from “Bad Law,” hitting a strong rhythm and feeling very Bowie-esque vocally right from the outset. There’s a vintage ‘80s pop vibe that works well here and adds yet another weapon to Lerche’s growing creative arsenal. “At A Loss For Words” finds Lerche at anything but that; it’s a fantastic track that so easily mirrors the chaotic mindset we all experience, not knowing quite what to say while having a million things running through our heads. “Lucky Guy” is a bittersweet lyrical gem, a hypnotic turn best turned up loud with a drink in hand.

It’s difficult to overstate my fascination with this record. Sondre Lerche’s emotional torture is pure pop gold, and has opened him up even further with one of the most creative and satisfying records of the year. The talent has always been undeniable, but with Please he catapults himself into another statosphere. If only the rest of us coped so magnificently and imaginatively with our relationship demons.


Sondre Lerche website: http://www.sondrelerche.com/

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