Sunday, 27 March 2011

Random Review #36 Susanna and The Magical Orchestra - Melody Mountain

C6S9CD15 This CD was picked by my friend Clare who isn't on Twitter, but maybe if we give her some encouragement she might join the gang......

So what do I know about Susanna and The Magical
Orchcestra, zilch, nada, nothing, zero, rock all. Scandinavian I think? Susanna is her real name Susanna Karolina Wallumred but after than I'm struggling, I think this is the second of three albums and I have know idea why I bought this, I think I heard cover Love Will Tear Us Apart (more about this track later) somewhere on a free music magazine CD.

The style of this music is stripped back lo-fi with beautiful haunting vocals, all the tracks are covers some you might expect, Hallelujah (do we really need another cover of this song) some that you would never expect, Crazy Crazy Nights (Kiss) and It's A Long Way To the The Top (AC/DC) and some in between, Enjoy The Silence (Depeche Mode) and Condition Of The Heart (Prince)

I think it must be something about Scandinavian as I first came across Stina Nordenstam doing songs in this style (although not all covers) and also Hellsongs (from Sweden) who cover only Heavy Metal songs in the same manner and are definitely worth looking up. I guess the clever part is identify great songs irrespective of the genre and then delivering them in a different but spectacular manner.

The danger of doing an album of covers is that unless you add something to the original why bother, and opening with Hallelujah is either brave or stupid!. I believe it's the most covered song ever and I think I have at least 5 versions including Leonard Cohen's original and as far as I'm concerned the definitive version by Jeff Buckley. This is a good version if not the best but sets the tone for the rest of the album. Vocals that quiver at times with strips down arrangements that compliment the vocals beautifully. As mentioned we have a couple of rock songs, and a great Depeche Mode cover but we also have a couple of lesser know covers It's Raining Today (Scott Walker) and Fotheringay (Sandy Denny) show these guys know their music!

Love Will Tear Us Apart is as good as the original by Joy Division, I mean that as a compliment as I don't think anybody will ever surpass the original but Susanna and The Magical Orchestra do this amazing song justice.

This is late evening glass of red in hand chilling music it makes you relax.

If you like this then Hellsongs are worth looking up, their version of Run To The Hills by Iron Maiden is quite special.

mark 8/10

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