Hanne Kolstø - While We Still Have Light - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Hanne Kolstø - While We Still Have Light

by Jeff Penczak Rating:6 Release Date:2015-12-18

The uber-prolific, Spellemannprisen/Grammy-nominated Kolstø’s fifth solo album in as many years enlarges an already impressive discography that includes about a half dozen albums from her previous projects Post, Love: Fi, and the duo Thelma & Clyde, for which she wrote most of the material. Incorporating the trip-hop, post rock, and jazz pop elements from these projects, Kolstø’s material can suffer from an overabundance of influences and a preponderance towards kitchen sink arrangements. So opener ‘Bordermind’ is almost drowned under its musical backing which occasionally muscles Kolstø’s not unattractive vocals out of the room.

      My pet peeve of overzealous drummers distracts from the otherwise dreamy title track, but a more restrained backing results in the killer ‘I Hate You Don’t Leave Me’, a fine choice for lead single if I were running Jansen Plateproduksjon. Some vocal calisthenics highlight ‘The Circle’, and I like the change-of-pace acoustic folk intro to ‘Mysterious’ (which eventually yields to a rather bombastic rabble rousing anthem!) and the tender trap of ‘Mono’ that tugs at the heartstrings with her best vocal yet. It kinda loses the plot about halfway through and turns into some glitchy orchestrated hiccup, but all is righted by the smooth electro romanticism of the heartfelt ‘I Like You.’

     Overall, there’s a lot to like here, but I’d enjoy it even more if the arrangements weren’t so busy and the songs gave Kolstø room to breathe and flow (as on the tender piano ballad ‘This Town’.)

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