Google Tag

Sunday 3 December 2023

Ex Norwegian - Sooo Extra


I think most of you know how I feel about Ex Norwegian. No Sleep to my ears is still the best album of the past decade or more and deservedly was our Album Of The Year in 2018 and would probably be the same in any year.

Well they are back and when I say they, this is essentially a Roger Houdaille solo album, not that you would realise that. Some Ex Norwegian albums are a band, some are not, this is the latter. Sooo Extra is still a heady mix of Pop Rock and Psych Pop, but here the emphasis seems that bit more on the Pop.

Houdaille also has an ability to shift genres with some fantastic unexpected arrangements. Take for instance Extra here. It is a song that has Psych Pop, 80's Twee and a Big Rock outro in the one song. Booster Club is so melodic, yet impossible to define, part gentle Psych, part melodic Alt Rock, but as catchy as catchy can be. 

Real Bad Bunny is Electro Pop and I have to admit that I didn't get it at all as a single, but on hearing it on the album it is a perfect fit. Hit The Wall has a great fuzzed up vibe and again the synth dominates. Indeed, keyboards are far more prevalent across the album than you would normally hear.

But there are classic Pop Rock moments that are as good as Ex Norwegian have ever been. Improbably Probable, Short On The Wires and Send Nudes are classic prime time Pop Rock moments that Ex Norwegian excel at. There's even a step into Classic Rock with Atlantic Columbia.

There is plenty here for long time fans, but Ex Norwegian have never been afraid of taking chances and they are taken here. It as though being a splendid Pop Rock band is not enough and Houdaille has to show that there is more. Default is Pop Rock, but there are many more directions to enjoy. Wonderful!

You can listen to and buy the album here. Roger Houdaille's Think Like A Key label can be found here.


No comments:

Post a Comment