Quadron

Quadron

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AllMusic Review by

Two songs on this album of avant (not Avant) R&B and tranquil folk-soul could be classified as straightforward, unless you count the finale, a fairly faithful cover of fellow Denmark natives Skousen & Ingeman (longhairs in the realm of Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver, and Mark-Almond), which would make three. Both “Slippin” and “Pressure” are immediate, glowing, mid-‘60s soul throwbacks, but even then, they are slightly off-center. Smokey Robinson's response to hearing a couplet like “I’ve been trying to hurt you for as long as I can remember/Looking for the spineless point, and change your summer into winter” could only be a perplexed glare, though he would appreciate that the words are delivered with such sweetness over a giddy gallop of a production. On the remainder of the songs, multi-instrumentalist Robin Hannibal and vocalist Coco O. seem to approach rhythm and blues the way early Roxy Music approached early rock & roll, reveling in traipsing through its past while also twisting it to the point where inspirations are imperceptible. These songs take a little longer to connect. Once they do, they never stop giving. No matter how abstract or alien -- as on “Jeans,” a blithe groove led by plinking guitar and knotted sax riffing, or the sighing “Horse,” in which six barely touched instruments tickle the ears -- they come out fluid, like they were made mostly on the fly (albeit with frequent assistance from a violinist and a reedist, as well as a handful of others, including Hannibal’s part-time recording partner Philip Owusu). Hannibal’s sparse arrangements carry a lapping, caressing quality; never cluttered, full of pregnant pauses and atmosphere, they leave plenty of room for Coco O.'s voice, a deeply emotive but feather-light instrument full of mystery, even when the lyrics are open to one possible interpretation. The whole deal is quietly stunning.

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