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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 249 - 12/14/16

The Loch Ness Mouse
Tune-J Music / Voices of Wonder

There are many similarities between Loch Ness Mouse (LNM) and Scritti Politti (SP). Both started as quite rough rock bands, that quickly turned towards indie-pop and ended up with very well-produced pop. It was quite a sensation when Miles Davies first recorded a cover version of a song from SP's second album, released on the independent Rough Trade label, and then the jazz legend guested on the band's third. On a somewhat more local level it was a small sensation when the legendary Swedish pop and jazz-rock session etc. guitarist Georg Wadenius guested on LNM's third album 11-22 released in 2005 by the small independent Perfect Pop label. So it seems just right that our LNM found out it was due time to pay homage to the English band.

"Overnight" is the new streamable single from LNM. It's taken from SP's third album Provision, though not the song with Miles. Whereas SP's version seems to be completely synthetic, recorded with the state of the art, at the time, Synclavier as the main instrument, LNM's is more traditionally rooted with piano as the driving force, along with some delicate guitar licks, real drums and bass. Whereas SP's version has male vocals a bit down in the mix and female backing, LNM's is led by Christina Høgetveit's comfortable and American sounding voice on top of the mix along with some well-fit backing (also female?) vocals. I gave up on SP after having heard their second album Cupid & Psyche 85 from 1985, thinking it was too well-produced and slick for my liking back then, and never bothered to listen to Provision when it was released three years later. On the other hand, the debut album Songs To Remember from 1982 is still a favourite, with guest appearances by label-mate back then and all time hero Robert Wyatt. I said I'd given up on Loch Ness Mouse after the release pf their fourth album New Graffiti in 2009, but really haven't managed to let them go completely after all.

At first I rejected the production of new LNM offering as too polished for my liking. Then I gave it a second chance and compared it with Scritti Politti's original, that I also found too polished at first. But after some spins, by Jove, they both started to sound pretty cool after all, and "Overtime" has turned into a little local pre-Christmas favourite. So far I prefer the new more classically arranged and more organic sounding LNM version to the very 1980s digital sounding original.

'Overnight and while your trouble's away
Under the stars up above I'll build you another day
Close your eyes I'll be home before it's light
And all the tears you cry will dry in the dead of night'

File under SP for Sophisticated Pop.

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You may also want to check out our Loch Ness Mouse articles/reviews: 11-22", An interview with..., Bamboo (Love Is Not Cool), Flair For Darjeeling, Flair for Dardjeeling - Deluxe Edition, Friends And Fenders EP, Key West, New Graffiti, The Mouse that roared!.

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