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Meer - Meer CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.50 | 13 ratings

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5 stars A young collective from Norway that bursts onto the scene with some gorgeous symphonic pastoral music. And I like the fact that these guys are not so big on flashy instrumental solos, but rather more on varied (and nuanced yet- complex) structured compositions with strong vocal performances.

1. "Night by Day" (5:17) incredibly beautiful, full-spectrum symphonic sound with vocals sung in English from several sources, male and female. I cannot imagine this song being improved upon. (10/10)

2. "Solveig" (4:24) a pop-folk song fronted by stunningly enigmatic vocalist Johanne Margrethe Kippersund Nesdal (I can't tell if she's folk, blues, rock, cabaret, or pop/R&B--though at times her singing remind me of both of Anna Jobs BENDER from the Swedish family band INTROITUS and of DAM KAT of CHILRDN OF PARADISE). (8.75/10)

3. "Shortcut to a Masterpiece" (3:53) a heavier rocker on which Johanne Margrethe's voice reminds me quite a little of that of BENT KNEE's amazing Courtney SWAIN. Solid song. (8.75/10)

4. "Ghost" (4:49) acoustic guitar and violin open this one, dancing and weaving with one another in quite a lovely (almost Gaelic) fashion. Knut's turn in the lead reveals a very folk-oriented song--doubled up by Johanne Margrethe's background harmony vocals from the second verse on. Beautiful folk song reminiscent of the masters of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Almost on a par with songs by Crosby, Stills, and Nash and WOBBLER. (9.25/10)

5. "Dover Beach" (4:35) a song that immediately brings me to an oceanside beach--opening like a Joni Mitchell song before amping up into the upbeat Jazz-Canterbury territory of INNER EAR BRIGADE or even iNFiNiEN. Brilliant singing by uber-talented Johanne Margrethe Kippersund Nesdal with some equally awesome backing by the rest of the band-- especially drummer Mats Lillehaug. (9.75/10)

6. "Akrasia" (2:03) piano and Johanne Margrethe = reminders of Courtney Swain. I LOVE the interplay of violist Ingvild Nordstoga Eide between Johanne Margrethe's singing passages as well as the fascinating chord play by pianist Ole Gjøstøl. Amazing song! (5/5)

7. "Grains of Sand" (5:49) another gorgeous jazzy iNFiNiEN-like upbeat song that sucks me in from beginning to end. Awesome interplay and performance contributions from every musician, with strings, guitar, and vocalists in the limelight. The vocal arrangements and Johanne Magrethe's lead are so much like iNFiNiEN and Chrissie Loftus! (9.5/10)

8. "I Surrender" (4:15) strummed guitar chords with pop rhythm track and straightforward lead vocal from a male (but is it Knut?) makes one feel as if we're going for a stage performance here--even when the chorus amps up and the "big" voices of the full band choir step up am I reminded of musical productions like GODSPELL or A CHORUS LINE or RENT. Great melodies (and piano and bass play). (9/10)

9. "Sorry for the Kiss" (3:14) What an intriguing title! And then to open with 90 seconds of laid back semi-jazz instrumental music before I begin to realize that this is probably an instrumental. While the main melody, established in the first measure, plays without break from start to finish, "background" instruments such as strings and drums move slowly to the foreground and become a bit flashier (though never what I'd call "soloing") to the end. (8.75/10)

10. "Valentina in the Sky" (9:04) sounding a bit like countrymates NEEDLEPOINT or Texas band MIDLAKE, we have an interesting pop-jazz song with Knut in the lead vocal and full band choral support over some quirky Indie-pop. Great drumming and bass playing throughout with wonderful strings (and flute?) arrangements in accompaniment. Then there is an odd stoppage at 4:30. When the music gradually re-introduces itself it is with rapid piano arpeggi and what sounds and feels like full-orchestral arrangement carrying the song, the melody, the everything! Beautiful! And quite cinematic. (Making me desperate to see the movie!) At 6:40 orchestra backs down as drums, bass, and guitars slowly build with Johanne Margrethe and Knut (and whoever else is going uncredited) chanting a line over and over. Then strings and full band increase their dynamics as Johanne Margrethe takes a lead role over the choir until the song closes out with a fully-orchestrated finish. Wow! (18.75/20)

Total Time 47:23

I don't know where these guys came from (Hamar), or why I've never been led to them before now (it's September 2023) but here is yet another AMAZING band (and album) that has flown under everybody's radar! It's so disheartening! And what an amazing force is chameleonic vocalist Johanne Margrethe Kippersund Nesdal.

A/five stars; a masterpiece of jazzy folk-pop symphonic music--truly progressive and yet feeling oddly familiar and comforting; something I would think that every self-proclaimed prog lover would find joy and amazement in.

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |


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