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Thomas Dybdahl, Songs
Strange Cargo/Decca Records, July 12

07/14/11
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Midway between Nick Drake and Bon Iver sits this bumout-chill Norwegian folkie, whose listener commentary ranges from "transportive" to "kind of bizarre"; basically this should clue you that if this guy were Jack Johnson, Sigur Ros would be Radiohead. There’s some minor faraway-ness but the reverb isn’t ever totally pegged, which actually might have helped some of the acoustic guitar lines, although a few weird-beard synths make their way into the mix here and there for effect. Like a more nimble James Blunt or less drugged Chris Isaak, Dybdahl floats his weepy tenor eloquently if mawkishly over “From Grace,” allowing in a few Portishead-inspired trip-hip trifles, then proceeds to experiment with mariachi-siesta-chill on “All’s Not Lost.” If it helps any, “Cecilia” makes like Roy Orbison barging in on Grateful Dead’s “Touch of Grey,” and furthermore, I should mention… eh? Nothing? Well, if that’s your attitude, you’re simply prejudiced against skinny rich kids whose hobbies include looking tragic and refusing to take showers for photo shoots. B- Eric W. Saeger





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