Features
Reviews
Must Hear Music
Reviews Archives
Archives
Bargain Basement
Downloads
Music DVD
Upstart
Pipsqueaks
 
 
 
Features
Reviews
Archives
Send Us Mail
Contact Us
 
 

Pelle Carlberg
Everything. Now!
Twentyseven Records
www.pellecarlberg.se


At first glance, the most striking feature of Pelle Carlberg's solo debut is the track listing. It seems an artist with songs titles like "How I Broke My Foot And Met Jesus" and "Go to Hell, Miss Rydell" might offer manic comedy echoing Frank Zappa, or caustic rock and roll that would make Liam Gallagher proud. In reality, Everything. Now! has very little of either. What Carlberg's record does feature are hushed guitars, reflective lyrics, and stunningly sincere songs.

Carlberg, who has also recorded three full-length albums with the band Edson, offers both lush, orchestral pop-rock and acoustic ballads. His vocals often recall Morrissey's morbid laments, but his assured guitar work and the rich arrangements keep the music from becoming dour. There is a dreamlike quality to the record, and it becomes more cohesive with each play.

Like Morrissey, Carlberg is an unconventional lyricist, but his poetry is disarmingly straightforward. In the same way Björk turns a phrase as if she has little sense of the way people actually speak, many of the album's finest lyrical moments are both simple and unorthodox.

The beautiful (and bizarrely titled) "Musikbyrån Makes Me Wanna Smoke Crack" opens the album with a reflection on the untimely death of Warren Zevon. Carlberg comments on the tragedy with self-effacing sincerity. The song transitions into the hilarious "Bastards Don't Blush," which introduces us to Carlberg's left-field sense of humor. Sarcasm and bitterness are scattered throughout these songs, but they only add another dimension to a very human album.

Carlberg's songs are portraits of everyday life. Nowhere are his observations sharper than on the closer "Mind The Gap." The song is an affecting meditation on the human tendency to turn away from pain and suffering. "It's sad to see how people look away," Carlberg sings, but he doesn't let the song run its course without a smirk. He later reflects, "I wanted to ask her what she meant / If she had a brain made of cement." The song ties together all of Carlberg's considerable talents.

The plaintive acoustic guitar on "Telemarketing" manages to turn something hopelessly mundane into poetry. "Don't sell me things that I don't need / Don't make me buy your scheme / I can't say no to a human voice," he sings. The final sentence explains exactly how Pelle Carlberg took eleven very good songs and made them into one great album. For whatever reason, records that reflect the record-maker have always been rare, and Carlberg confesses just enough to make this a beautiful, remarkably human piece of work.

-Dan Warren

Track Listing:
1. Musikbyrån Makes Me Wanna Smoke Crack
2. Bastards Don't Blush
3. Telemarketing
4. A Tasteless Offer
5. Go To Hell, Miss Rydell
6. Riverbank
7. Oh No! It's Happening Again
8. How I Broke My Foot And Met Jesus
9. Summer Of '69
10. I Had A Guitar (Bjärton and I)
11. Mind The Gap


Check out more reviews

Talk Back
e-mail the chief

Like this article?
e-mail it to a friend!

 


Mike Doughty



none now
-------


South By Southwest 2014
David DeVoe

South By Southwest 2013
David DeVoe

Red Hook Music Festival
George Dow

SXSW 2012
David DeVoe

Our Favorite Records 2011
Hybrid Staff

AWOLNation
Rachel Fredrickson

Kanrocksas
Rachel Fredrickson

Warped Tour 2011
Rachel Fredrickson

Eddie Spaghetti
Melissa Skrbic-Huss

Murder By Death
Mike DeLeo


Mike Doughty
Boulder, CO

Epilogues
Denver, CO

Imagine Dragons
Denver, CO

Sebadoh
Cambridge, MA

Young Magic
Denver, CO

Warped Tour 2012
Denver, CO

Thrice
Denver, CO

Mike Doughty
Denver, CO

MuteMath
Kansas City, MO

Other Lives
Lawrence, KS

Los Campesinos
Boston, MA

The Civil Wars
Lawrence, KS

Ha Ha Tonka
Lawrence, KS

Thrice
Lawrence, KS


 
hybridmagazine.com is updated daily except when it isn't.
New film reviews are posted every week like faulty clockwork.
Wanna write for hybrid? Send us an e-mail.
© 1996-2009 [noun] digital media. All rights reserved worldwide. All content on hybridmagazine.com and levelheadedmusic.com is the intellectual property of Hybrid Magazine and its respective creators. No part of hybridmagazine.com or levelheadedmusic.com may be reproduced in any format without expressed written permission. For complete masthead and physical mailing address, Click Here.