Every once in a while comes an album like this that swims upstream amidst a current of musical ideas, and the title of this one is only partly the reason.
Commonly when one thinks of dance music sequencers, arpeggiators, patterned bass lines and looping software are all major forces that help shape our conception. Analog Dance Music - a solo project from Eirik Glambek Bøe of Kings of Convenience - relies on pure musicianship to achieve something that sounds polished, well produced and gorgeously, subtly imperfect.
While the danceability factor languishes more on the chill side of things and the album is best suited to be played on a warm sandy beach with an endless sunset, the ebb and flow of ADM is a perfect blend of warm intoxicating patterns, catchy hooks and soft hypnotizing vocals. But just when the effects of the big analog warm hug spreads like a good wine, a lone trumpet - or, in the case of “I Feel Free”, an entire horn section - totally melts any inhibitions off your face. So there’s this real-humans-playing-instruments-and-making-dance-music thing which is of coursde not the first of its kind, but refreshing nonetheless, and brilliantly executed.
The other interesting piece that makes this record glow is that ADM makes no apologies about celebrating life and does so without a sense of overindulgence. ADM blissfully embraces all that is good in the world and encourages us to walk away from things that drag you down. When Bøe smoothly whispers “I don’t want to be the captain of a sinking ship”, he absolves us of guilt and negativity and affirms that it is ok to leave crap behind and be excited about the opportunities that life provides. The optimism is simply intoxicating and it comes at the right time when the headlines are constantly advertising the darkest parts of humanity. ADM is the feel-good record of the summer, and perhaps will retain that position for many summers to come.