Album Review: Aurora - All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend

Aurora - All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend

​When the album hits, it does so with an infectious force.

Rating:

Aurora - nineteen year-old Norwegian pop star Aurora Asknes - was given an almighty nudge towards stardom when she was handed the now-prestigous accolade of performing the track that appeared on 2015’s John Lewis Christmas advert, a cover of ‘Half The World Away’ by Oasis. While her debut album, ‘All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend’, doesn’t signal the greatest departure from the the piano-led, squeaky clean Aurora that many were first faced with, it does contain a bite that it was hard to see coming.

‘Conqueror’ employs earth-shattering drums that allow her voice to float across the track like a battle cry. It’s equal parts joyous and threatening, something that defines the album. Despite pretty strong preconceptions, it’s a listen that’s anything but delicate.

‘Running With The Wolves’ only serves to heighten this feeling, with gut-punches of passion laid on top of the now-familiar Scandi pop template. This energy serves Aurora better than the few downbeat moments on ‘All My Demons…’, with ‘Through The Eyes Of A Child’ feeling a little directionless. ‘Warrior’, conversely, feels completely massive at its peak, even if its lyrics raise an eyebrow or two (“I fall asleep in my own tears / I cry for the world, for everyone”), while ‘Murder Song’ is as creeping as its title might suggest.

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When the album hits, it does so with an infectious force, but often feels like it’s only able to be viewed from a distance - an album that’s too calculated to evoke any emotional reaction. ‘All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend’ isn’t what was expected of Aurora from the millions that first saw her in the ads half-way through ‘Love Actually’, and while ‘All My Demons…’ is a listen that’s at times varied, interesting and progressive, any connections made here are purely at surface level.

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