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coverpic flag Norway - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 24 - 10/05/98

Melt
Introducing The Rootsless Youth ...
Phony Muzak

This is a difficult album to pin down. Some tracks resembles American music with stitches of country, folk, Simon & Garfunkel and Tom Waits (not his vocals though). Others are modern pop songs with lots of instruments, effects and oddities. I'm not sure if Melt is a band or a one-man project with lots of help from his many friends. Anyway, the main person is Bjørn Fløystad who has written most of the songs, takes care of the lead vocals, some guitar and keyboard playing and production. He's probably best known as a producer, for artists such as Polish-Norwegian eccentric Andrej Nebb, Last James and The Smell Of Incense (check out former Luna menus including the latter two). Bjorn F as he's called here, is helped out by six people on most tracks and several guests in addition. Of the six, four are members of the surf combo The Beat Tornados (reviewed in Luna's July menu). But the lead guitarist with the Tornados is handling the drums with Melt and there are no traces of surf except an occasional slide guitar. Some members of Velvet Belly (check out Luna's October dishes of last year) are also involved.

The album kicks off with All The Way Down about some depressive incident with swirling guitars and keyboards. In My World has a similar feel, blue pop music in a sort of British tradition with 'serious' lyrics. Most of the other tracks are more uplifting and American sounding, and not that exciting to an Anglo Saxon oriented guy like me. Strange, songs like Home By The Sun, Feel 4 Another and Mr. Tee are very down to earth and simple, pushed forward by acoustic guitars and including a few other string instruments. They seem a bit in a void compared to other songs with keyboards and whatever. Slapstickfunnyman starts out as a heavy rocker that never takes off. Suddenly there's a lap steel all over the place, a beautiful mellotron in between and it ends with a huge choir chorus with trombone and all. The title track is an instrumental at double speed where the leading Farfisa probably would've been unbearable at normal pace. Funny-funny, almost in a melodic Residents vein. The slow version of Jona Lewie's single (hit?) Kitchen At Parties from the early 80s is a bigger gem. Very late night and cool!

To me the album is a kind of roller coaster ride with All The Way Down at the top and a hidden country song after the end as the nadir track. But the best songs and the production throughout makes it very much worth checking out. It's hardly a coincidence that you might get in touch with Mr. Bjorn Again at: goodbutmad@hotmail.com.

Copyright © 1998 JP e-mail address

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