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- Copenhagen Dreams by Johann Johannsson
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Beautiful, haunting, twinkly, rainswept, poised. People at Norman Towers are shouting out adjectives to describe this beautiful LP which will (hopefully) make you want to buy it. You shouldn’t take much persuading. This is a truly special album which does everything that Yann Tiersen used to do and that Max Richter has done from from time to time.
It’s a lot sweeter and more melodic than some of Johannsson’s other work particularly the drawn out ‘Virthulegu Forsetar’ but sometimes it’s just nice to get some sweetness into your life, screw the experimenters, eh? The record is a soundtrack to a ‘city symphony’ about Copenhagen and is a series of extremely charming vignettes for string quartet, clarinet, celeste, keyboards and electronics. The pieces are short but extremely affecting, occassionally it gets almost close to the holy grail of neoclassical albums Rachel’s’s ‘Music for Egon Schiele’ with stunningly arranged strings. However, there is the added buzz and tension of the electronics which flutter away under the mix.
‘A Memorial Garden on Enghavej’ (they all have lengthy titles) slips into the world of Sigur Ros like compositions with consummate ease and is truly ecstatic sounding whilst remaining subtle. At times you can tire of pretty neoclassicism/chocolate box melodies, etc., but this impressively varied album has got me back believing that music can be pretty, charming, non-threatening but can provide beauty and power to make a cynical grown man weep.
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