Norway - Full Moon 34 - 07/28/99
Another Time, Another Place
The hard facts first: Reverend Lovejoy is Pål Angelskår
and Jens Herman Ruge. They spent some months in Mexico in 1998
where they wrote these songs. Back home they were encouraged to
record them, which they did on a borrowed analogue four-track machine
with some help from their friends. And here's the end result, 12 short
songs and an even shorter instrumental, written by Pål or Jens
Herman separately, 28 minutes in all.
These are "singer-songwriter" songs, dominated by acoustic guitars
and vocals, but with - mainly discreet - drums, bass, electric guitar, organ
and piano in between. A quotation from Nick Drake's song Things
Behind The Sun printed on the cover (also included in one of the
Reverend's songs) gives an indication of the music. And the two
songwriters seem to be serious young men like Nick Drake used to be.
As far as I understand (no lyrics are printed in the booklet), Mexican
matters inspire some of the lyrics, but most of them have a broader -
global - horizon, dealing with love and relationships you know. The
booklet has a lot to do with Mexico, though, including several nice
colour photos from the trip.
To some, a four-track analogue recording might seem much too
limited and primitive these days. Well, I think the limitations have been
an advantage here. The sound quality is much better than could be
expected and quite sufficient to fit the CD format. I suspect some of the
charm and "soul" might have been lost with a wider range of instruments
and recording possibilities. Here, the acoustic guitars are the backbone of
most of the songs, with some exquisite guitar playing in between, not
least Connections. And for instance The Girls That Made Your
Summer has some very nice interplay between acoustic and electric
guitar and organ.
All in all, I think the darker, more melancholic songs of the album stand
out. Home Again, clearly written before the homecoming, and the
haunting little piece ¿Ok? are probably my favourite. So far
Another Time, Another Place has proved to be suitable company
late at night and on lazy summer afternoons and will probably suit winter
mornings, too, later on. But I advice you mainly to put it on when you're
alone. This is definitely not party music.
Copyright © 1999 JP