Norway - Full Moon 160 - 10/04/09
Former MonsterBlomster (MonsterFlower) (or The MoBlos as our Pingo called them; they were/are one of the best hidden treasures in the Norwegian music scene,
with a fine list of records holding excellent pop gems) Øyvind Ryan has taken his time putting out this one. Being writing and recording songs ever since MoBlo disbanded, years pass by between new releases. Øyvind's first 'solo' album (as Øyvind Ryan-Gruppen) was another favourite. Last year a new single, Alt, saw the light of day, being a foretaste of an album to come.
Perfekt harmoni (yes, Perfect harmony) is quite a fitting title, because harmonies are everywhere in Ryan's music. His pop songs picks heavily inspiration from the best pop music from the 1960's, the 1970s and on. The Beatles, The Kinks, Neil Young, Big Star, ... all the way up to Teenage Fanclub. The list could've been longer. Yes, Perfekt harmoni holds a bunch of good songs, but I still (so far) prefer his first album. Yet, here are great songs, like "Lykkelig når du er glad" (Happy when you're glad), "Lisa sier" (Lisa says) with its really harsh, no compromises lyrics, "Min" (My) with it's lovely guitar sound, and "Hoppalong" (with Lisa showing up again in the lyrics, as she's been doing since the early MoBlo days). Here's even a quiet and calm piano ballad, "Elskling" (Darling)! (Followed by a short instrumental piano piece!) What's going on, Øyvind? But, it works. And, Øyvind's is very good with words. So honest it almost hurts (well, sometimes it does...), but, like I said, it's working very well. Single choice "Alt", the funky soul-piece from last year, fits quite good in. In fact, it's sounding better on an album than on its 'own'. The band is also quite perfect sounding, fab drummer (plus guitar solo player) Even Granås, Bent (Motorpsycho, Tussler) Sæther on bass and guitars, and Lars Lien (long-time studio wiz, ex-Motorpsycho, Tussler) on keys. Øyvind sings and plays guitars, of course. Line Sofie Aleksandersen has contributed excellent backing vocals, and here is garnish as tuba, upright bass, and mellotron.
By all means, Perfekt harmoni is very good company as the autumn closing up on you, and the sun fades on the horizon. Flower plower!
Copyright © 2009 Håvard Oppøyen