Scott Matthew

Scott MatthewMarch 7, 2008
World℗ 2008 Glitterhouse Records
4
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Songs
1
Amputee1:52
2
Abandoned3:58
3
Prescription2:46
4
Balladear4:10
5
Little Bird2:29
6
The Laziest Lie3:48
7
Upside Down3:19
8
Habit3:37
9
In the End3:14
10
Surgery2:23
11
Market Me to Children3:33
4.5
4 total
5
4
3
2
1
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Additional Information

Total length
35:13
Tracks
11
Released
March 7, 2008
Label
℗ 2008 Glitterhouse Records
File type
MP3
Access type
Streaming and by permanent download to your computer and/or device
Internet connection
Required for streaming and downloading
Playback information
Via Google Play Music app on Android v4+, iOS v7+, or by exporting MP3 files to your computer and playing on any MP3 compatible music player
Recorded after six months spent living in Berlin (and named for a street address there), the second album by Norwegian songstress Hanne Hukkelberg may be moodier and more mature than her endearingly light-hearted debut, but it's nearly as sweet and, in its way, just as playfully inventive. The occasional electronic elements of Little Things are absent, and the "noise" quotient is relatively subdued, but there's still plenty of atmospheric clutter and clatter: clinking bottles and kitchenware; a bouncing ball; "tea-strainer guitar"; an excellently played typewriter on "The Northwind"; Obelix the cat purring on his own ode (which can't help but recall likeminded noise imps -- and Hanne's former Leaf labelmates -- Psapp); and the Rykestraße itself providing urban ambience on the languorous opener, "Berlin." This bevy of found-sound sources commingles seamlessly and invitingly with the array of "real" instruments -- piano, accordion, prominent double bass (both bowed and plucked), glockenspiel, bass clarinet, and so forth -- to create an impressionistic, Old World Continental vibe with echoes of cabaret jazz, sea shanties, and the fusty, haunted soundscapes of Tom Waits. The effect, though evocative, is kept understated, never overshadowing Hukkelberg's resonant voice, a magnificently versatile instrument that evokes the high lonesome clarity and playful warble of Jolie Holland or Regina Spektor as well as the intoxicating swoops of Billie Holiday, and contributes as much as anything to the richly imbued charm of this album. (Her voice itself creates some of its most memorably personable moments, including the layered speaking and self-harmonizing on the creaky, slightly spooky "Fourteen" and extemporized-sounding passages of wordless a cappella noodling on "Berlin.") Rykestraße 68 is occasionally reminiscent of those artists musically and compositionally as well, blending as it does strands of folk, pop, and jazz, but a closer point of reference would be Fiona Apple's work with Jon Brion, particularly the defiantly idiosyncratic art pop of Extraordinary Machine -- it's equally visionary and emotionally flush, though if anything more accessible. Hukkelberg demonstrates notable range in songwriting throughout -- from the peppy, swinging "A Cheater's Armoury" to the eerie suicide shanty "The Pirate" to the tense "Ticking Bomb," which cheekily incorporates the familiar C minor prelude from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier -- although her draining, emotionally wracked re-imagining of the Pixies' "Break My Body" may well be the album's greatest highlight. [The 2008 North American edition, arriving a year and a half after the album's original Norwegian release on Propellor, includes a tender live reading of "Searching" from Little Things and a video for "A Cheater's Armoury."]
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