Saturday, 23rd June 2018. 3:41:48pm ET
Reviews CD Reviews Alternative, Indie Rock Carl Platou- Frozen Eve


ARTIST: Carl Platou
ALBUM: Frozen Eve
LABEL: Zygone Records
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
DATE: 4-28-08

Carl Platou album cover

Norwegian singer/songwriter Carl Platou describes his music as "dark pop," and while it's not a bad description, his album is definitely more infectious than you might expect. The darkness comes mostly from Platou's clever but somber songwriting and his voice, a deep and faintly raspy croon that's a bit reminiscent of Leonard Cohen, whose songwriting he also evokes on the melancholy "Memory Motel" and the lovely ballad, "I Go with the Sun." Overall, though, his music itself is less reminiscent of Cohen than of the jangly guitar pop of groups like R.E.M. or The Soft Boys, full of layered acoustic guitar strums and infectious melodies. "Sleeping Dancer" is clever with just a touch of strangeness, very much reminiscent of Robyn Hitchcock's less quirky acoustic material, and "Long Time Ago" is a wonderfully catchy Beatles-esque tune augmented by shimmery mandolin. "Winter Eve" is positively cheerful, if a touch drowsy, and "Sunday Morning" and "The Second Cold Winter" are such a perfect mix of bittersweet mood and accessibile pop instrumentation it's hard to understand why they haven't already become ubiquitous on NPR's morning music shows. For all his obvious pop and rock influences, it's also apparent that Platou is something of a country fan as well, as evidenced by the occasional presence of honky-tonk piano or twanging slide guitar. "Pearly Gate," in particular, has a stark fire and brimstone feel to it, complete with electric organs and reverberating church bells, that recalls the best of both Johnny Cash and Nick Cave, though "Happy," which follows it, provides a respite from the apocalypse with a sing-along chorus that belies the song's ironic title. Combining the best of clever, moody songwriting and perfect pop accessibility, Carl Platou's music is hard not to like, whether you appreciate it for its catchy hooks or its intelligent lyricism.

Hear selections from the album at Carl Platou's MySpace page at www.myspace.com/carlplatou.


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