Philharmonics review by Agnes Obel

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  • Released: Oct 4, 2010
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 9 (2 votes)
Agnes Obel: Philharmonics

Sound — 8
"Philharmonics" opens with a simple and playful piano instrumental, "Falling Catching". While an opening instrumental can be a warning sign for those who require accessibility in their music, the young Danish songwriter is not enticed by the temptation to self gratify, she keeps the piece short and sweet and leads us through the door into her world. Atmosphere is induced by an authentic vintage sound that works with Obel's playful side to provide the albums endearing and identifiable personality.

Lyrics — 7
Agnes Obels lyric are very much suited to her music. She gives the impression that they pour from her as she records, rather than being over-thought and picked over. Some seemingly random collations of words appear but so quaint are they that we find ourselves joining in her nonsensical joy, whether it's talking to a bird in "Brother Sparrow" or churning easy rhyme of "Just So".

Overall Impression — 8
Tracks like "Beast" and "Avenue" sound like they've burst straight from a music box. Others are lifted by eccentric timings and melodic variations and vocal harmonies. The albums energy begins to wane towards the middle, "Louretta" being little more than one thoroughly abuse riff. Obel attempts to rise out of the murk in later tracks with ponderous and sombre moods of "Over The Hill" and "Wallflower", only succeeding when she returns to bounciness in "On Powdered Ground". Now a well deserving double platinum album.

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