Label : One Little Indian

Review by Matteo Bussotti

Like some of you, maybe, I usually already an impression of an album that I’m going to listen, before actually listening to it. As I read Ólöf‘s biography, the word “Iceland” immediately jumped to my eye, and I started to think about Sigur Ròs, mostly, and about a whole kind of atmosphere (of beautiful atmosphere) which Iceland usually brings with its name and in its music. Sometimes my impressions aren’t right…this time they are, they truly are. “Sudden Elevation” is a beautiful album, one of a delicate kind which is not usually found in today’s music (especially outside Iceland); one song flows into another investing and fulfilling the listener like a calm sea. Let’s make it clear: it is not an album made for anybody who wants strong emotions, energetic rhythms, loud guitars etc. If you’re looking for a metal album, you’re definitely in the wrong review. “Sudden Elevation” is Ólöf‘s first album full in English, and the first one she wrote without any break…sincerely, I didn’t listen to any of her previous albums, and maybe this one is the worst of them all…but if these are the results of a constant, break-less writing and recording…then she probably should do all her albums this way! It’s almost impossible to get all the emotions this album can give you in only one listening session, so my suggestion is to listen to “Sudden Elevation” AT LEAST 2 times, and listen to it carefully, really carefully; let it pass through you, dive into all the melodies, the lyrics and the general atmosphere. You’ll get caught in a way you’d have never expected.

Of course, my suggestion does not apply if you’re not into this kind of music, but if you are…you won’t probably need my suggestion to listen to it a second me, it’ll be spontaneous. Part of this CD’s strength is how it is build: it starts with some very calm songs (“German Fields”, “Bright and Still”, “Return Again”, “Treat Her Kindly”), and then, from “Call It What You Want” you can hear a stronger rhythm, with percussion, more guitar, more instruments etc. This crescendo contributes to give the CD different layers, not keeping it boring and repetitive. I mean, not that from its half “Sudden Elevation” becomes “Powerslave”,“Paranoid” or “Back in Black”, it keeps its genre, its atmosphere, but in a more rhythmical way. So, what to say about this record? It simply is beautiful, it’s almost “ambient” music; you should totally listen to it, especially in a calm situation, when you want to relax, chill a little bit. If you like the genre, listen to it, you won’t regret it.

Do you want me to make it more clear to you? OK. Do you like Bjork, Sigur Ròs? Yes? LISTEN TO IT. You don’t like Bjork or Sigur Ròs? If you’re looking for an album which’ll give you the inner peace you’re looking for…LISTEN TO IT ANYWAY!

Rating – 90/100

Tracklist

  1. German Fields
  2. Bright and Still
  3. Return Again
  4. Treat Her Kindly
  5. Call It What You Want
  6. A Little Grim
  7. Fear Less
  8. Numbers and Names
  9. Sudden Elevation
  10. The Joke
  11. Onwards and Upwards
  12. Perfect

 

Line Up

  • Ólöf Arnalds – Vocals and Instruments

 

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