Have you ever been out dancing, wholly lost in the DJ’s selection, and then, sweaty, thirsty and tired you attempt to leave the dancefloor only to hear the DJ drop another of your favourites?
I’m sure you have. I know our readers!
This scenario/memory came to mind as I plugged into D’Sounds new album – Unicorn. A few hours prior, I had been listening to Cool Millions‘ solid album – Stronger. Now I find myself once more swept up in uptempo grooves and melodies – this time of a soulful pop variety from Norway.
Mirjam Omdal is the bands’ predominant songstress having replaced Simone Eriksrud and features on a majority of the tracks. The singer has bonded seamlessly with D’Sound (Jonny Sjo and Kim Ofstad), and her vocals are ideally suited for creating alluring, soda-sweet music. Mirjam articulates her soulful tones too, as demonstrated on my personal favourite – Powerful. Mirjam makes it’s easy to be taken in by the albums numerous catchy tracks. However, D’Sound is working on a far deeper level which they announce with the cover art.
The albums’ cover features a black & white photo of the brother of bass player Jonny. The personal design choice is a reflection of someone who they describe as ‘unique, wonderful guy, and a little different’. The entire album is a tribute to being a little different, and to people who do not necessarily meet current “norms.” The dance groove of the album’s title track – Mr Unicorn celebrates our uniqueness.
Above the groove, the lyrics take a cold hard look at relationships with lines of finding inner strength and reflective observations.
Emotionally-rich words like these are layered on to D’Sounds superb production of keys, strings and drums. Check out the extended version of Powerful and Slow and Hard for impressive solo improvisations. The balance harmonises perfectly when Armi Millare sprinkles soul diamonds on Somewhere In Between and both versions of Lykkelig and Lykkelig Acoustic.
TORA joins on the excellent – Is He Real and Adrian Jørgensen mellow vocals delight on the guitar-driven – No. 1. These blissful tracks slow the tempo and reverb with heart-warming soul.
Beyond the cover art, you may feel the album doesn’t break new ground, especially in the soul world; however, in the realms of Norwegian music, D’Sound is undoubtedly different. They are in a niche group of soul rebels and D’Sound celebrates this with their best album to date.
By including remixed and acoustic versions, D’Sound presents you with a rich and full selection of tracks to satisfy day and night, and for all moods.
Being different sounds damn good to me!
***Score corrected from 4 to 5 because this deserves 5 stars! *** A superb album!