A bit of French canoodling here, a bit of smoking jacket lounge there, a prog-rock aesthetic playing a bank of synths the Norwegian electro pacemaker needs to abseil down, and managing the lineage of what’s cheesy, what’s high-end funk and what’s music to take lifts by. The artwork, the title: this is the unveiling of Terje Olsen’s big top circus.
All performed with good, non-satirical heart. Prominent amongst the glitter ball gambolling and avenging of the Airwolf theme, ‘Svensk Sås’ chatters in a tailspin of button-bashing Latino, a one-man show breaking into a wide-grinned groove. ‘Strandbar’ shows the entertainer backing his dancefloor chops with a piano house-r exiting the cosmic disco, and ‘Inspector Norse’ comes as a bubbly, sincere drop of the curtain.
Headset-wearing adventures sweep in and out of a bowtie-loosening, debate-starting, sword-falling performance of Robert Palmer’s ‘Johnny And Mary’ (!) by Bryan Ferry (!!) (audio below). It takes all the fun out of the album (let alone the hiring of a Renault), but it may make you well up as it slow dances through a blizzard of dry ice.
Though bizarre in its mid-tracklist positioning – working as the album’s full stop surely would have been better – Terje comes out the other side ready to invigorate for a second time, a mite more determined and showing disheartenment (or getting too high, for that matter) shouldn’t last too long.
Its encased plasticity doesn’t mask any novelty. Athletic brightness betters gaudiness while wearing ’80s fashions well, banging out rhythms with fingers that’ve have just come from the cake bowl. It’s album time, and Terje feels epic.
Words: Matt Oliver
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