Saturday, 23 June 2012

Ulver - Childhood's End [2012]

I've known Ulver for quite a couple of years, but they were never my priority, more like 'oh, so you're looking for a decent Norwegian band? They're pretty good!' Yet last week my friend comes over with her just-bought new album and is all like 'Oh J, you have to listen to it!' Well then, I take the package, look through the booklet, notice it's a covers' album and they did my favourite Today! Oh, no lyrics. Anyway, the cd goes to my player and...

You could ask – what's the point of making 16 covers? What's the point of transforming good old rock songs to dreamy Ulverish atmosphere? It's obvious that characteristic voice of Kristoff immediately makes the songs Ulverish, also the music is much more complex and programmed than in original versions – but apart from those tiny changes, there ain't many drastic alters. The great thing about this album is that is shows us some really good, poorly known songs in a beautiful, refreshed version.

Let's take 66-5-4-3-2-1 of The Troggs. That's a really nice song – catchy, with amazing rhythm and quite a melody – yet the original doesn't really amaze with quality and emotion. Wheres Ulver's version is simply sparkling with passion, even most critical friends of mine admired it.

Still, the first charm of the album is Everybody's Been Burning – great lyric of The Byrds, a bit harsh and over psychedelic if you're not on drugs music– now made as a smooth, swingy, and yet so longing tune.

Oh, and Dark is the Bark (what a lousy title, The Left Banke!) is a sweetest waltzy tune, hypnotizing me to fall right away to Magic Hollow – a truly unearthly sound (that 'fantastic'! I bet Garm enjoys Chris Eccleston just as much as I do!)

Maybe it's the image of exams fading away, maybe it's the night, but there is something so liberating about Soon There Will Be Thunder – my overheated body slowly drifts in the long forgotten wind and even saddish Velvet Sunsets or Lament of the Astral Boy won't take that away. Well, actually the second kind of gets through my numbness, but that's probably because of another spaces memories...

Even in case of old friends like – Jefferson Airplane's Today that has had a special place in my heart for a really long time – I didn't mind hearing it on Childhood's End. In fact, it only added more fire to my feelings.

I could go on much longer, praising lovely folk atmosphere of The Trap or feisty In The Past or pure, super energetic power of I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night (love the title) – but I've been writing this post for two weeks now, still I am fighting my battles and the album is a 'just listen', so excuse me and just listen to this fantastic album.

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