The Noble Art of Letting Go

Rebekka Karijord

CD (2009) - Lill Facit

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Visepop / Singer/songwriter

Wear It Like a Crown
Undo Love
Parking Lot
Dead on My Feet
This Anarchistic Heart
The Noble Art of Letting Go
Life Isn't Short at All
To Be Loved by You
Morning Light Forgives the Night
Wear It Like a Crown (Living Room Session)

Tori Amos
Jenny Wilson
Ane Brun
Kate Bush
Cat Power
Lykke Li
Elvira Nikolaisen

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(4 / 7) (4 / 7) (4 / 7) (4 / 7) (4 / 7) (4 / 7) (4 / 7)

Close, but not quite

A strong start doesn't make up for the feeling of unreleased potential hovering over Karijord's mellowness.

Rebekka Karijord from Sandnessjøen doesn't seem to be resting on her laurels. She writes music for plays, dance performances and films. She's an actress and she runs her own record label, Lill Facit records, on which she's just released her latest album The Noble Art of Letting Go.

Her third release sees Karijord move away from the Anja Garbarek Balloon Mood-era that coloured her previous records. The theatrical sound from 2005's Good Or Goodbye is pushed to the side, making room for a less pretentious and more homogenous musical expression.

There's a cinematic feel to The Noble Art..., something that's established in the first few bars of opening track Wear It Like a Crown. Simple piano riffs, lush strings and a soft drum and bass beat blend together in a melancholic potion that underlines the lyrics of inner fear. It comes across as the musical equivalent of a pensive big screen scene, and rather fittingly some tracks off The Noble Art... feature in Margreth Olin's recent film, The Angel.

The low-key groove of second cut Undo Love is accessorised with a rolling piano lick that's nicely broken up by a stop-start chorus. It's one of the tracks where Karijord shows the full range of her voice, a cross between Anneli Drecker and Ane Brun. Parking Lot is an up-tempo tune, rich in strings and with piano doing both chord and bass work. It's reminiscent of Lykke Li, albeit lacking some of the Swedish singer's cool.

The album's first three tracks are by far the strongest, offering a promising mix of good arrangements, structural creativity and musical variety. But from thereon Karijord goes into streamlined singer-songwriter ballade mode. Stand-out moments are few, and the melancholic undercurrents that had an initial appeal become monotonous and take on a claustrophobic character. Not until Life Isn't Short At All does things pick up again, but by then the album already feels too long.

Karijord's talent is obvious. But with The Noble Art.. she moves into waters already charted by Ane Brun, Elvira Nikolaisen and Regina Spektor, making it hard to escape the feeling of having heard it all before. The first few tracks show she's got the potential of being one to watch within her genre. But she's not there quite yet.

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