- Helen’s Song
- The Mountain
- Miss You Now You’re Gone
- Don’t Remember
- No Cigar
- Can’t Forget
ALEX2CGR108 / Crispin Glover Records
Intricate instrumental arrangements and melodic antics are wrapped up in a sonic universe that on first listen might refuse to fully reveal itself. But if you listen with both ears turned on, you will soon be rewarded.
Transparent 180gr. vinyl with CD included.
When his band The South started to fall apart at the seams in 2015,
Alexander Pettersen found himself drifting around in some kind of
musical limbo. Not that he was idle, or anything. He probably had just
as much on his plate as ever, but now more so on stage or recording
with other artists rather than working on his own stuff. His by now
much-talked-about break-up from girlfriend and artist colleague Ida
Jenshus probably also saw to it that it felt more comfortable to
soundtrack other people’s thoughts than his own.
Luckily, Pettersen’s desire to create new music re-emerged, and his
solo debut, “The Letter”, was by many considered one of last year’s
musical highlights in Norway. His hometown paper, Adresseavisen,
placed “The Letter” next to other famous so-called divorce albums,
made by the likes of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Marvin Gaye.
“There are not many Norwegian albums in this category and on this
level, but we have one now.” – Ole Jacob Hoel
The national paper, Dagbladet, described the album as one of the
darkest and saddest albums released in Norway in years. Out of context
this may not sound like much of a compliment, but it was very much so.
If it took time to get the creative engines running again, it sure
looks as if things are back on track by now. It has taken Alexander
Pettersen less than a year to write and record his follow-up to “The
Letter”. And if the artist himself in any way can be trusted, the
album has actually been good to go for quite a while already, and
there is more on the way.
“Don’t remember – Can’t Forget” has turned out a grandiose album.
Intricate instrumental arrangements and melodic antics are wrapped up
in a sonic universe that on first listen might refuse to fully reveal
itself. But if you listen with both ears turned on, you will soon be
rewarded. All the musical details will come to life, and the album
turns into this beautiful place you can drift off to.
Thematically, it is still possible to recognize some of the darkness
that characterized “The Letter”. However, the contrasts are greater
this time. More hope and light are let through, both in the lyrics and
the music. Listen to the featherlight, almost soaring “Emilia”, or the
monumental, close to 10 minutes long finale, “Can’t Forget”. After
cascading waves of feedback and white noise the latter leaves
Pettersen’s voices naked – singing the words: “I feel it, I feel I’m
So, to use a somewhat flippant Netflix metaphor, one could say that
“Don’t remember – Can’t Forget” is Alexander Pettersen – Season 2. If
so, the conclusion is: “Yeah, life surely goes on, and the soundtrack
Now, turn that record around!
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