Norwegian bliss. Or rather, Norwegian blissful horror.
SUSANNE SUNDFØR TEN LOVE SONGS (Warner Music Norway)
According to Susanne herself, she started writing songs about violence, but eventually they turned out being songs about love and relationships instead, and listening to her fifth album, you can almost feel the thin line between the love and the fear. It is as if she’s hurdling through different phases of a partnership in the crumbles, it’s almost like a musical horror movie about a separation. Yes, the musical variety and nuances on Ten Love Songs makes this very much like a movie soundtrack, with several lives, layers and arrangements beyond the regular pop album. The omnious, haunting orchestral arrangements that is wrapped around the album like a blanket, not only gives a dramatic feel, but it’s enthralling, to say the least.
I totally fell in love with the first two singles, Fade away and Delirious, which both breathe the elegance of 80’s pop, but set to a modern beat and a physcotic touch. The magnificient drama continues all the way through the album, whether it be the suggestively driven Accelerate or the Abba-goes-Italodisco-ish Kamikaze. Or exceptionally gorgeous Italodisco-ballad Slowly. Everything indoctrinated in that fascinating mixture of love and fear. Or an random harpischord, that might show up by the end of a song. Her flare for the dramatics is exhilarating and even at times, a bit exhausting. I mean, halfway through the album, in Memorial, she burts out in to a highly pretentious, but beautiful classic intermission in the midst of it all. I really don’t know what to think of it really, besides that she sets her own rules and then plays the game, exactly how she wants to.
And somehow it’s completely appropriate that this love horror soundtrack would end with the totally unsettling Insects. In some strange beloved way Susanne Sundfør is telling us that there are no happy endings.