The Norwegian electropop band that everyone has heard everywhere - in commercials, TV-series, malls, bars and so on (probably without knowing it's Röyksopp) is back. They return from the stunning success of their debut album "Melody A.M.", with, it’s unbelievable to say, an even more fascinating and satisfying album.
After the praise that "Melody A.M." received, not to mention the units sold, the pressure to make an album even equalling the success and brightness of the original must have been huge. Luckily for us, that pressure seemed to just fall from the shoulders of this talented duo.
From the first track "Triumphant", you notice that there is a real feel of a gear clicking into place – take the track in question as an example. It turns from a simple piano piece, into a cavern-sized atmospheric track, and with seeming ease too.
“Only This Moment”, the first single off the album follows, and if you haven’t already heard it, is also a monster-sized track, with wailing female vocals over a slow eurotechno style soul sound. These aren’t even the best tracks on the album though! “49%” should definitely be released as a single at some point (in my humble opinion) – it is by far the best track I’ve heard all year so far; very atmospheric, with great vocals and a strong, pulsing beat. “Circuit Breaker” and “Sombre Detune” are both faster-paced and dancefloor friendly, employing aerosol-can sounding beats with wibbling acid noises, and a pulsing bass and rhythm respectively.
There is a slower side too: take “Dead to the World” and “Tristesse Globale”, the first employs some fine, dreamy chords and lush atmospherics; the latter is made largely of a sad, yearning, effected-up piano (which is a bit unusual as an album closer, especially for this album I think!)
The only downside to talk of on this anthemic album though is the track “Alpha Man”, which strayed too much towards prog-rock territory for my liking (even in terms of the track length!)
That minor gripe aside, this album shows a band who are truly turning up the creative level. Given the material, and their growing popularity live, I think it won't be long before their brand of electropop starts to really plant itself firmly into the heads of the general populace.