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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 42 - 03/20/00

Arne Hansen & The Guitarspellers
So Happy I Could Pop Volume 1
Perfect Ostepop Records

"If I try to sing about pollution and the sea
And how to save the whales and other sea mammals from misery
I know that it would come out wrong
So I sing another Christmas song"

Arne Hansen and his merry guitarspellers/-players have been reviewed in earlier Luna menus. Reindeer Can Fly! includes 15 songs of ups and downs of the Christmas season. Another Christmas album would've been too much. But Christmas Song - from where the above lyrics are taken - doesn't really tell anything about the days around solstice. And Pigged Out Over Christmas is the only other song that might have fit nicely onto Reindeer Can Fly!. Otherwise Arne deals with more serious matters this time, most of the time he gets Slaphappy Silly about the opposite sex. Which isn't easy. He doesn't want to have commitments right away ("It's just that I'm afraid if we got married, the promises would take away the fun") although she's Sweet As Candy and True Love is in the air. After some time you Don't Give A Toss because "Love is ok till the women starts whining, then you can stick it where the sun isn't shining", you know.

Musically AH&TGS still sounds like a one-man keyboard band with a rhythm-box and a hired guitar player. There seems to be more guitars this time around, which is fine. The typical Hammond and synthesizer sounds with bossa nova rhythms etc. can sometimes get on your nerves. The happy go lucky pop songs can be annoyingly naive and monotonous in the long run if you're not at it. Either they put you in the right mood or you need to turn the music off. The album includes a few clever pop melodies; not least When We Fall In Love with some relieving real piano playing. It almost sounds like a classic Mott The Hoople hit 26 years ago. Otherwise the 15 songs are pure party-party; ideal to make your feasts take off. Arne has a clever and fascinating way of expressing himself in English that few other Norwegians can follow, I guess. But when he threatens that a second volume of So Happy I Could Pop will be out soon, it might be too much for a poor listener. I think we have enough keyboard oriented party songs for some times to go by now.

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