published: 4 /
Tempesteous folk rock on fifth album from Swedish singer-songwriter and musician,
Sweden's answer to Lloyd Cole, Christian Kjellvander certainly has the voice, the timbre and drama appeal to be a contender. Equally as well, you may consider Christian Kjellvander to be the bastard son of Nick Cave and Tracey Chapman. The sturdy orchestration on his fifth LP 'The Pitcher' has a pastoral sound, but, due to the album's heavyset nordic dramatics, it is nearly obliterated in well-worded self-pity and easy-on-the-ear self-righteousness. It is as if by virtue alone that Kjellvander's epic folk rock music has humbled itself. 'The Trip' and 'The Field Before' (because of its toreador trumpet )in particular as a result are fierce melodies of Scandinavian stature.
The twang flamenco riffs on 'The Valley' through vulnerable meandering lead on to 'The Island', which features even more fingerlicking acoustics and string orchestrations. 'The Pitcher', however, just about stays abreast because of its exquisite melodic and vocal versatility. With a bit of luck, 'The Pitcher' might pave the way for a new understanding of Swedish music in a similr way that once Abba did. Simply put, the Swedes out-English the rest of Europe once more. The melodies and words to Christian Kjellvander's new album on a few occasions capture lines from John Fahey's instrumentals and even then still relate to the over-orchestrated likes of Burt Bacharach.
Nearly immaculate and almost impossible to distinguish from a recognised evergreen, 'The Zenith Sunset' - equally brittle and brash for example - shows the underlying enchanting quality in this tempestuous folk rock album. Caught on a slur, 'The Pitcher' reveals Kjellvander to be a gentleman, a master guitar player, a gifted singer-songwriter ànd a conductor. A raw gem of an album.
The Zenith Sunset
The Field Before