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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 87 - 11/09/03

Jim Stärk
No Time Wasted
Sweet Records

There seem to be a flow of Octoberish sound coming out of Norway these days (or; the last couple of years). Happysad, laidback melancholia going well with the season. Into a chilling darkness, towards winter time. There's Thomas Dybdahl with his two albums (last year's ...That Great October Sound, and his latest Stray Dogs). Then there's of course Martin Hagfors and his HomeGroan. And there's the Grimstad (?) quartet Jim Stärk (named after James Dean's character - Jim Stark - in Rebel Without A Cause), who made a fine debut last year with Ten Songs And Hey Hey. A critically acclaimed, low-voiced and tender collection of ten songs...plus one more song. Entitled? Make a guess...

Now it's time for album number two, and it seems they've made it again. Coming up with a heap of sympathetic, soothing songs for the late autumn moods. The band are Einar Stokke Fadnes (vocals, guitar), Inge Sørbrøden (bass, backing vocals), Asbjørn Ribe (piano, backing vocals) and Tom Rudi Torjussen (drums). Singer Einar has written the ten songs, and his voice is of a sensitive kind, leading your thoughts in the direction of Nick Drake (just listen to "Every Word"). A little less depressed version. A dash of Chris Isaak maybe (whitout all his whimpers and whining).

As I said Jim Stärk present another collection of very fine songs, sometimes with a country feel as on "Sleepless", other times stripped down as with the very fine opening song "It's Not That Easy". The only problem I have is when they 'rock on' during the title track, and almost drives through something dangerously close to Dire Straits territory. But only briefly and for a short time. The rest of the journey is safe and indeed of pleasant nature. Check out sngs like f.i. the mentioned, piano and acoustic guitar based "It's Not That Easy", "River Mercy", "Come To Me" (another very Drake-ish song, even)

No Time Wasted is not a waste of time. It's a good soundtrack for October. Yes, for November and December, maybe January, as well.

Copyright © 2003 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Jim Stärk article/review: Morning Songs.

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