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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 59 - 08/04/01

Mind Your Head

Odd music? Nope. Odd is the new pop-star around Norway, and presents catchy, guitar-driven widescreen pop-rock with some heavy touches of bittersweet love-hurt melancholy. As the opening words of first song, Never Without, goes: "Sing your song of the broken-hearted, of those who cry themselves to sleep." Weeping pop. You'd better mind your head, because the songs on Mind Your Head sneak in your ears to get stuck in your head.

Odd is a 28 year old from Årdal (a small industrial town on the western coast of Norway), who's been preparing his album debut the last five years. He's one of EMI's jewels, and the two singles released last autumn and winter, Heroine and Free Me, gained a lot of radio air-play. A third single, the immediate opening track Never Without, was released earlier this summer, and the expectations for this album must be massive. Recorded and produced (by Ronald Bood) in Sweden, it seems like Odd (and EMI) hopes to surf the golden Swedish wave of launching and breaking artists with success internationally. The record company mentions Swedish pop-stars Kent and Andreas Johnson, as well as Manic Street Preachers, Jeff Buckley. Other, more fitting, names to drop, are chronic melancholics such as Coldplay, Muse, Travis and Neil Finn. The latter not only because of the cover of his song Last Day Of June (off the Finn brother's 1995 album Finn). I suppose fans of Crowded House (or anything Finn has done) will embrace Odd.

Opening song Never Without unveils an instant, direct hit song, and it shows an artist with guts; cocksure with the right charisma to become star. Next song, Self Control, shows total control (despite the lyrics dealing with "lack of self control"). Wall-to-wall pop-sound, elegantly arranged and produced. Heroine, the first single, is ace. So immediate, with a chorus dragging you by the hair, and with guitars banging the ceiling. A song that could've come out of Kurt Cobain's secret pop-drawer. With No One Is Leaving it slows down. Yep, ballad, but working. Assited by the fine voice of Dilba. Stay is one of the more rockier part of the album, and again Odd shows his song-writing abilities, presenting irresistable melody lines and a sugar-spun chorus. Free Me has got a refreshing drive, but is of the more straightforward songs, I think. With a chorus somehow reminiscent to Brit-band Kula Shaker (lost somewhere in India?). Finally Mind Your Head close the album. A calmed down moment - more naked in style - and a fine song it is. A good ending. Despite the drum machine...

11 songs. A few fillers, yes, but more than enough powerful stuff. Convincing. Odd can be starry-eyed without blushing. Oldtimers a-ha and Morten Abel move over; a new pop crown prince is ready for the crown and throne.

Mind Your Head will be released August 20th.

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