O.J. Hanssen

What's It Gonna Take

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Contemporary country performer OJ Hanssen grew up about two hours south of the Arctic Circle in Mosjøen, Norway, learning English through Buck Owens and Jim Reeves records. This attention to tradition shows through on his debut album What's It Gonna Take on RMG Records. The songs are ably backed by country studio stalwarts Aubrey Haynie, Brent Rowan, and Blue Miller, and produced by the unbelievably prolific Barry Beckett, which all certainly gives Hanssen a familiar sound. His voice seems born on Music Row, with only a few European inflections, and the subject matter revolves around matters of love, heartache, and memories. It is an interesting revelation that someone who has no authentic grounding in American country music can pull off an accurate representation of country-pop sounds. The clean sound and slick production is straight out of Nashville, even though the vocalist is from thousands of miles away.

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