Friday, June 16, 2017

LP Review: "Cremation Songs" by Tomten

Cremation Songs
As my life as a parent continues to move forward, there are more and more strange happenings.

My daughter loves the symphony. So, we attend the concerts they hold on Sunday afternoon for the kids. Many times the songs they play are familiar to me because of hearing them in old Loony Toons.

As she's also into Loony Toons, it's even more fun. The idea of what cartoons were like when I was a kid is so different than today.

My mind routinely brings up a particular episode featuring a family of owls. The father owl teaches classical music and he keeps a sign on his door stating "NO JASS." Naturally, the little owl loves jazz music. So there's the interplay between the father wanting his son to be respectable and the son wanting to be true to his heart.

This all plays out while the owling is on the radio alternately singing jazz and classical music.

Tomten's latest record, Cremation Songs, is touted as a dream pop album.

Well, there are certainly large swaths of dreamy pianos, fizzy vocals, and mellow guitar licks.

But doesn't that title kind of make you think there's something else at play here?

It certainly does for me.

One has to wonder, as when they were recording, did the producer step out from time to time.

Perhaps this is just thinking out loud, but there are instances, and more than a fair few, where the music changes so swiftly from just pop, into full on 1950's rebellion music...ergo...rock'n'roll.

The piano switches to Jerry Lee Lewis. The guitars get crunchy. Every time though, it reverts back to what it was just like that. It's as if the cat was away for just a moment.

Perhaps Tomten is just trying to see if we're paying attention?

Release: 7/7/17
Genre: Pop
Label: Plume Recordings
Formats: LP/CD/Digital

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