Album Review
by SaschaS

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  More on: Röyksopp

Feral daze
  News - 8-4-2005
Royksopp: 'The Understanding' of beauty
Röyksopp: 'The Understanding'
(Wall Of Sound)
Röyksopp: pop music for club-gen

We are so quick to tag and label anything these days, like we are afraid that if it is not defined then it is out of control, if outside a category then it is non-existent; as if non-classification means outside mass attention… Röyksopp defied all these with their debut album and continue to do pretty much the same with their second disc.

‘The Understanding’ demonstrates again the Röyksopp’s knack for corralling tonal beauty with surprising details and a gracious ease. The Norwegian duo’s sophomore CD starts with such a liquid sonarium of ‘Triumphant’, a title that is no boasting whatsoever. 'The Understanding' follows Svein Berge and Torbjorn Brundtland's critically acclaimed 'Melody AM' and it is not a continuation, not a cash-in on their word-of-mouth debut album success.

There is plenty for clubbers and chill-outers on ‘The Understanding’ but there also are four tracks that are the rock-idiomatically huge. ‘What Else Is There’ could be the best example of this new found grandiosity that could characterize nu-electro pop. Then, there is almost an industrial [heavy bass and tough electro-beats] feel to ‘Sombre Detune’, or the monumental and breath-taking ‘Alpha Male’ scope.

There are 12 different excursions into brave new sound - other artists seem afraid, perhaps restricted by their desire for [or to maintain] fame, to explore. Not Röyksopp: ‘The Understanding’ can elate any bystander, it can uplift a pessimist, it can make a cynic smile…

‘The Understanding’ was recorded in Bergen and contains number of vocal tracks with additional voices by Chelonis R Jones from Get Physical Records ('49 Percent'), Karin Dreijer from The Knife ('What Else Is There?') and new vocalist Kate Havnevik (on previous single 'Only This Moment' and 'Circuit Breaker').

Elegant, serene and bloody enjoyable. Can’t ask more, surely Shirley!


Röyksopp’s album ‘The Understanding’ is released 04 July 2005 by Wall Of Sound/EMI