Album Review – Uranium Heart – Highasakite

 

Uranium Heart is the fourth album from Norwegian pop band Highasakite.

The first time I listened to the album, I quite liked it. But, as sometimes happens, it doesn’t hold up as well when you are listening to it for the nth time.  By the time I finished my last listen, Uranium Heart was decidedly in my “it’s just okay” category. Part of the issue is the homogeneity of the album. There is very little in the way of sonic, tonal, or rhythmic variation. The songs all have about the same sonic level. They all rely on the same vocal techniques and inflections. They all have kind of the same tempo and feel. That works with a genre that you expect that for (doom metal, for instance). But pop is supposed to implicity have more variation in it.

That’s not to say it’s a bad record. It’s competently written and performed. It’s just not very exciting in the long run.

Recommendation: Stream It

Songs I Have A Playlist for: Mexico, Out Of Order, Ego Maniac

Songs I Will Thumbs Down: Too Early, Revolution, Hail of Bullets

Album Review – Heard It In A Past Life – Maggie Rogers

So, after having self-released a couple of albums, Maggie Rogers caught the attention of Pharrell Williams at a songwriting workshop he was running.   That catapulted her into a whirlwind of growing attention that has culminated with the release of her first major label record, Heard It In A Past Life.

Heard It In A Past Life is a clean, sharp synthpop album with dance, technopop, and maybe some folk influences.  Themes of love, change, and vulnerability cascade across this record.  Rogers comes across as honest and surprisingly forthright.

The song that caught Williams’s attention, Alaska, is on this album, though reworked from the original release, as well as On+Off, another song that was previously released and has been reworked. Light On is the first single that I was aware of off this record and has all the hallmarks of becoming a solid pop hit.

Other songs that really caught my attention from the album are the opening song Give A Little, Overnight, Fallingwater, and the closing number Back in My Body.  That said, there isn’t a thumbs down on this album for me. It’s solid, if sometimes unchallenging, songwriting that signals that Maggie Rogers is set up to take that next step if she wants to and write more challenging, boundary-pushing music. And if she just wants to write solid, engaging pop music, well, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

Recommendation: Buy It

Songs I have a playlist for:   Give a Little, Overnight, Light On, Say It,                                                                                    Fallingwater, Back in My Body