October 6, 2009
Sondre is starting to do some very Elvis Costello-ish things.
a) Every record is a new experience, a new sound. This is often a great thing. (ie: the intelligent bombast of Phantom Punch)
b) Every now and then he puts out a dud.
This is the dud album. We liked the jazzy turn of Duper Sessions. We loved Phantom Punch and Faces Down. But this is softly-tread, adult-contemporary simpledom. Classic Rounder Records. Too slick for its own good. Too slick to let the songs shine through. And then Sondre makes the regretful and obtuse Costello rip-off with title track Heartbeat Radio. Perhaps after touring with Elvis and hearing him sing the classic caustic Radio Radio every night Sondre figured that his life could imitate art too. But unlike his mentor, Sondre’s missives fall flat and emotion-less.
“Did the DJ drown in a sea of reverb and compression?”
No, just the accidentally self-referential artist.
Here’s to the next album, which will hopefully re-instate Sondre Lerche as one of the boldest and brightest songwriters going. And while he’s at it, he should make sure the graphic designer knows how to work with shadows. This cover is embarassing.