Luna Kafé e-zine  Luna Kafé record review
coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 72 - 08/22/02

Racing Junior

Here Tortoise member John McEntire has given the Chicago workover to Norwegian dronerockers Salvatore. Several weeks in his studio Soma, located in the post-rock capitol of the world, have resulted in a new direction for the boys. One difference felt right away is the inclusion of new drummer Karim Sayed, oldboy Kjell Olav Jørgensen could not travel with the band to the US (but luckily have not left the band). Nowadays they play live with two drummers and are quite a powerful unit. The result for the CD is that Karim's more jazzy approach lacks a bit in the power department. Maybe this also is a decision made by the producer, but it makes the band feel a little lighter and a bit easier on the ears. Norwegian music journalists have all hailed this new sound as a step forward, but I'm not so sure...

The whole album is way more produced, details and arrangements abounds like they are afraid the songs are not strong enough to stand on their own. The hypnotic side to the band, which has been so important to their overall feel, tends to disappear in all this ornamentation.

Don't get me wrong, this is not a bad album, quite the contrary, it expands the world of Salvatore and brings in a lot of new elements. Some of which will undoubtedly make this great band a lot of new friends, but I hope they don't loose sight of what makes them great. Songs like "Rockefeller 3" is prime Salvatore gold and shows that the exploration of the outer regions of rock is still as exiting as it ever was.

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You may also want to check out our Salvatore articles/reviews: Clingfilm, Luxus.

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