Daniel Agust – Swallowed A Star (CD)

Very few artists come out of Iceland. However, those that are able to break it big internationally are able to achieve some modicum of success. This is the case with Agust, as there are very interesting compositions that mark tracks like “If You Leave Me Now”. Know that this is not the Chicago track, but rather a track that blends together classical compositions with Agust’s love for acts like Jethro Tull.

The vocals are leading individuals into further narrative, but the instrumentation on the track also gives individuals some clues to what is happening during the track. Agust will never be selling millions of copies of “Swallowed A Star” due to the fact that what results on this disc is so far left field for what is appreciated in popular circles, but the compositions make individuals think, they are solid through and through, and Agust’s vocals are compelling whenever individuals sit down and actually listen to eir. “Till I Know” is another track that will make individuals think. The strings that are present during this track bring up thoughts of dances from the old country, but there is the diametric opposite – an electronic feel to the track – that is acting at cross-purposes during this track. The resulting tension makes for a delicious track, even if the tempo present during the track is on the slow side. What occurs on “Swallowed A Star” is something that is antithetical to the trends and desires of record labels and radio stations; instead of burying the levels throughout the entirety of the disc, Agust finesses each instrument and places the resulting lines in thoughtful ways during the tracks.

While this seems a little bit obvious, few acts actually take that step to ensure that the pieces fit together so well. Now, with this album under eir belt, Daniel Agust can start working on eir sophomore album; while there may not be much in the way of things that ey can correct, one can always get better. I have little doubt that this solid bit of plastic will beget another solid bit of plastic, and that more individuals will appreciate Agust’s music after they get wind of how well “Swallowed A Star” worked with what it was given. Ten tracks are all that is needed for Agust to create a compelling commentary and narrative that will stick with listeners for days, weeks, or even more to come.

Top Tracks: Gray, Sparks Fly

Rating: 6.5/10

[JMcQ]

Daniel Agust – Swallowed A Star / 2007 One Little Indian / 10 Tracks / http://www.daniel.is / http://www.indian.co.uk /

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