Nils Bech - Look Inside

Tackling joy and vulnerability, ecstasy and guilt, this guy’s got all the emotional work sorted.

‘Look Inside’ is a pretty significant step forward from Bech’s fantastic debut ‘Look Back’, insofar as we now have his personal, introspective takes on ‘Mind, Body And Soul’. By means of this super-afflicted, super-afflictive concept album, the acclaimed Norwegian composer has created a grievous, evolving journey which takes us through the different emotions and hurdles of a relationship. And whoop-di-woo, it also provides a thorough look inside his own thoughts on the romantic meeting which inspired the whole thing. Essentially, this is an album about lurrrrve, but one which is supposed to make you think.

And does it? Well, yes, a wee bit. Tackling joy and vulnerability, ecstasy and guilt, this guy’s got all the emotional work sorted, and his demanding involvement of the listener in this experience is creepy and chilling, but utterly enrapturing. The album follows a straightforward narrative, its stages indicated by the subtitles on each track. With subject-matter straddling all of relationships, break-ups, formative development and family affairs, it really does make you ponder, if you dare put enough gumption and brain-power into it.

Now, you’ll notice that no description has been made of his music, and that’s mainly because the arrangements here are indefinable from start to finish. With a finely articulated, delicate falsetto reminiscent of Antony Hegarty or When Saints Go Machine’s Nikolaj Vonsild, stunning strings, pattering keys and straightforward electro beats form the oddball, knobbly backbone, but make up no one, discernible kind of music. At junctures, synth-pop, at others, modernist classical, it mostly runs free from the confines of the pigeonhole. But who cares? Because if you sit down, listen hard to Bech’s dark, heart-rending lyrics, and eschew all distraction, he’ll probably sweep you up in his powerful gaze, totally mislaid in contemplation. This is a staggering work.

Tags: Nils Bech, Reviews, Album Reviews

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