Oct 10, 2009

2009: Sondre Lerche - Heartbeat Radio

After the slightly disappointing Noble Beast by singer/songwriter Andrew Bird, you don't have to look further than Sondre Lerche's Heartbeat Radio to find those brilliantly unpredictable chamber pop melodies. Since Two Way Monologue Lerche has been shifting back and forth between different genres, though still with his signature vocal style; from jazz to rock and even to film soudtracks. But with Heartbeat Radio he returns with another brilliant delicate singer/songwriter album.

Like Andrew Bird, a big part of the music fitted with elegant string arrangements, but at the heart of the music lies Sondre Lerche's gentle voice and his (mostly) undistorted semi-acoustic guitar. His lyrics are earnest, slightly cynical and poignant, illustrating everyday life with clever allegory.
The instrumentation is solid as always, with plenty of skilled musicians contributing to the nuanced sound of the record. This might even be his finest record yet, as the soundscapes are wider and his lyrical imagery more vivid. None of the tracks are particularly weak although "If Only" sounds slightly tacky at first, but carries on with an excellent chorus. There are classic takes on love songs like "Words & Music", bittersweet tales like "Almighty Moon" and the heartfelt "Goodnight" which creates a nice balance between the songs. But above everything else Heartbeat Radio is an incredibly accessible and listenable record regardless of if you get the lyrics or not, because there are dozens of melodic hooks enhanced by Lerche's beautiful voice to drag you in.

If you're not already familiar with the talent of Sondre Lerche , this is a good place to start.

Score: 8.5/10

Listen at spotify or grooveshark