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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 65 - 01/28/02

Underdog EP

Here's what we expected of the new millennium, young artists who delve into the rich musikal history of the previous generations to forge a new path by using the old and the new in unexpected ways. The songs themselves are pleasant enough and could very well have survived recorded in an ordinary fashion. But what makes this record something special is Kristian Stockhaus vivid imagination, his willingness to let the songs loose, let them go in whatever direction their whimsical structure dictates. This makes for interesting listening, the unpredictability is a quality in itself and makes this EP stand out from the rest. Especially since it's clear that in Kristian's heart there lies a fondness for the good old popsong. And songs like the titletrack "Underdog" has every chance in the world to make a radiohit. I don't know if I should commend him or his producer Yngve Sæthre for the arrangements. Quite something they are, lots of voiceoverdubs and nice details in the background.

Since this, his first release, is a six song 10" EP (lucky us vinyljunkies, the CD-single will only feature four songs), Kristian and the record company MNW probably wants to present Stockhaus quite broadly. Both the type of song, the arrangements and the manner of playing differs a lot to be only six songs, and I get a feeling that the time spent in studio on each song varies very much. Also the playing varies a bit, maybe he shouldn't keep playing all the instruments himself... All in all this is a welcome addition to the growing body of Norwegian singer-songwriters, this time one who doesn't wear his quirkiness only on the outside but one who saves some for his music. Look out for his debut LP in early March.

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You may also want to check out our Stockhaus article/review: Kid of Today, Man of Tomorrow.

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