Monday, 9 August 2010

Larsen B - Musketeer

Larsen B are named after an Antarctic ice sheet - and that just about sums up the style of their music. We're talking properly chilled out, laid back tunes. Tambourines. It should all be horribly outdated - it's of a genre that belongs, truly, to the millenial years of 1999-2002. But it's somehow not dated. There's something fresh there that I can't quite put my finger on.

While its official release date may have been early July, I think Musketeer has a good chance of going mass-market with its new release on Amazon this week. If you prefer digital downloads, it's also available on iTunes. Personally I'm always a fan of having the thing to hold - and the album art looks pretty sweet, too. However, there are a couple of tracks worth mentioning on their own...

High Points

The Gold Cup and Drown By The Sea make an awesome double bill that somehow seems to sit apart from what comes before it - they're tracks 5 and 6 on the album and they set a different tone from the millennial stuff I mentioned above. The Gold Cup in particular has eastern influences, which might explain why it sounds Beatles-esque.

Drown By The Sea, meanwhile, is the longest song on the album at 4:44, if you're looking for value for money from a one-track purchase. It's not strung out, either - it feels exactly as long as it should be, and is truly enjoyable from start to finish. While this again feels more like something from the 1960s than the early 2000s, the laid-back element is used to good effect, with a soaring chorus introduced nicely each time by the verses between which it sits.

The Verdict

Okay, I've dealt with this kind of music before, and I know how this part goes. I love it - the lilting music, the relaxed, almost synth-sounding vocals, the soothing sensation that listening to the album alone in a dimly lit room, with a glass of excellent red wine can bring. I love the feeling that I can get lost in the music, without having to really pay attention to it either. I hope many of you agree.

However, what happens next is usually that everybody tells me the music's boring and predictable and a waste of listening time. I hope few of you agree. All I can really suggest is that you listen out for previews or radio appearances or visit the Larsen B MySpace page and decide for yourself. Personally, I think this album is excellent - and I'll give it a strong but conservative score accordingly, just to hedge my bets for all you boredom-haters out there.

Final Score: 71%

Larsen B - Musketeer

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