Kate Havnevik – Melankton

Kate Havnevik – Melankton / 2007 Universal / 12 Tracks / http://www.katehavnevik.com / http://www.universal.com /

Individuals from Europe may not know why we are running a “Melankton” review now; the disc was first released there in April of 2006. However, the disc just made it to American shores this year. Havnevik’s “Melankton” is a debut album, but from the beginning of the disc, it does not feel to be. The emotive electronic instrumentation that introduces listeners to Havnevik does not sound clichéd or weak in comparison to Havnevik’s vocals. Havnevik gets close at points to sounding like an analogue to Bjork; the quieter instrumentation of “Melankton” distinguishes Havnevik from Bjork. The second track on the disc is “Travel in Time”, and it features the abilities of star Carmen Rizzo to create a fuller sound than was necessarily present during “Unlike Me”.

 The same electronic-influenced sound that began “Melankton” continues during “Travel in Time”, the chill sounds of Havnevik creating a cohesion for “Melankton”. I understand that the style that Havnevik plays is slower than most pop music, but the extended runtimes do not help out Havnevik all that much. The arrangements that fuel Havnevik’s vocals are not varied enough to keep individuals interested throughout. If Havnevik could perhaps lop off a minute of the four that most of the tracks have, the resulting disc would be all that more tight. A track that really stands out as impressive compared to the rest of the still-solid tracks on “Melankton” has to be “You Again”.

The faster tempo of the track, coupled with the fact that the song is only three and a half minutes long, means that there is an energy present on the track that exceeds that of earlier tracks. Don’t get me wrong, there are still slower tracks present on “Melankton” that succeed and catch listeners’ ears. This is the case with “Nowhere Warm”, which has a little of an Enya feel to the track. The wide-open compositions of “Nowhere Warm” could make it onto chill dance floors and parties alike, and show that Havnevik does not necessarily need to adopt a faster style to succeed (although it would be much easier). Give the disc a go if you like slower, trip-hop infused pop. There may not be levels of Portishead-like catchiness to Havnevik, but the solid approach on “Melankton” will undoubtedly garner Havnevik a number of listeners. Pick the disc up if it is your cup of tea; here’s to hoping Havnevik stays in the game.

Top Tracks: Sleepless, New Day

Rating: 6.0/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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