It is quite fitting then, that Ólafur, a 23 year old Icelandic composer, manages to let us temporarily forget about the ongoing natural occurrences. By using a variety of contrasting 21st century instruments with a classical vocabulary, the album echoes Iceland’s organic and mysterious landscapes. The combination of the eerily beautiful and repetitive nature of his piano playing mixed with forlorn string section makes a minimalist, yet haunting listen. Ólafur’s flair for creating compositions of this nature cannot be questioned, but the album would better lend itself to a film score than a solo release. You can almost visualise super 8 footage of mountainous landscapes being projected over the top.
As beautiful as it is bold, it’s a bit too easy at times for the songs to meld into each other. As every track starts with a delicate piano and slowly builds into an opus, they all begin to sound identical. This makes it difficult to pick any track as a standout piece of work. Judged as a whole, it merely floats in the periphery. Sometimes we all need music that is like that.
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