Trentemøller

Into the Great Wide Yonder

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Anders Trentemøller got started making albums fairly late in his career, following several years of singles released during the early '90s. His second full-length comes almost five years after his first one (The Last Resort, 2006) and after a couple of compilations and DJ mix projects. Into the Great Wide Yonder gives the impression of someone who is still searching for his own personal sound, and is willing to explore just about any musical avenue to find it. The results are predictably unpredictable, and mostly pretty enjoyable: "The Mash and the Fury" is spacious and dark, with guitars that alternately twang and splatter against a mottled gray musical background; "…Even Though You're with Another Girl" is spooky but quite lovely, with marimba, queasy sonic effects, and guest vocals by Josephine Philip; "Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider Go!!!" is a weird sort of science fiction surf instrumental; and "Häxam" features, believe it or not, a theremin. Those are some of the highlights on the program. Tracks that maintain the listener's interest less consistently include "Past the Beginning of the End," with its messy and eerie sound that ends up coming across as simply poorly constructed, and the OK-but-not-worth-six-minutes-of-one's-life "Sycamore Feeling." There's a pervasive mood of 1950s-style science fiction here: lots of ah-ah-ah vocals, kettle drums, twangy guitars, and that charming theremin. Nothing on the album is less than pleasant, but only about half of it will really make most listeners sit up and take notice; however, as electronica projects go, that's not a bad batting average.

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