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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 198 - 10/29/12

I Was A King
You Love It Here
K.Dahl Eftf. / Warner Music

I Was A King present their third long-player with You Love It Here, which was recorded in Egersund - the hometown of band leader Frode Strømstad - and produced by the legendary, and of later years "semi-Norwegian" Robyn Hitchcock (visit his museum!) and Norman Blake (of Teenage Fanclub). Funny things is that I Was A King (IWAK) had a song called "Norman Bleik" on their first album.

You Love It Here is sunny power-pop. Pop as being the love child of the pop-sike of the 1960s and pure power-pop of the 1970s. Which brings us to Teenage Fanclub. In fact, IWAK sometimes sound dangerously close to the Fannies. Well, I haven't got a problem with that, being a BIG fan of the catchy pop-harmony world of TFC myself. IWAK also pound out catchy and beamful songs, with jangly guitars, steady rhythms, and sundazed harmonies.

With its 11 songs You Love It Here clocks in at less than 34 minutes. Perfect timing, perfect length. Pure pop essence, nothing else. I really enjoyed their Old Friends in 2010, but I'll most def rank this one as their best album so far. From the opening very fine opener "Frozen Disease", via many other superb pop songs (songs kept simple, but to the core of what a good melody needs to hold), just check: "Leave", "A Million Signs", "Ferries", "The Woods", and the ballad "Superhero".

This is not rocket science. Pop music never has been. But it's a science to write good songs, and to make it sound good. Of course, some songs sound the same, but why bother. This is well-crafted, sympathetic guitar pop by Frode Strømstad, Anne Lise Frøkedal, and Ole Reidar Gudmestad - plus their good friends, having a good time. A+.

Copyright © 2012 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our I Was A King article/review: Old Friends.

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