Sondre Lerche is an artist who I followed early on—I loved his first two albums, appreciated The Duper Sessions, and have not really kept up with since then. At my brilliant wife's urging we decided to check in and see how he sounds these days. The answer is, not all that different from how he sounded in the early aughts. That's fine with me, though this album only sticks with me here and there. I really like the first two tracks, especially the opener, "Ricochet." It starts quietly, highlighting Lerche's jazz-influenced penchant for melody, then is lifted by a soft rhythm section before escalating again by the final third. If nothing else it proves how adept Lerche is at constructing a song. That doesn't mean, however, that the blood flows through every single song here.
While Lerche's craftsmanship rarely wanes, much of this record lacks the special ingredient—call it heart—that compells repeated listening. Things start to get patchy with the third and fourth tracks—and, as my brilliant wife said, "if you can't get it right in the first four tracks, you're dead to me." It picks up again with "Coliseum Town," which features a lovely, not-overpowering string arrangement, but after that I feel lost. After repeated listens in the last ten days or so, I still couldn't hum you a melody from the second half the record. Nothing rubs me wrong, but the songs just fade into the background: there's Lerche's distinctive voice, doing a variation on the "Sondre Lerche Melody"TM. No surprises. Not a bad record, but no surprises.
- Sondre Lerche: Ricochet