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Album Review: Torgeir Waldemar – No Offending Borders
Torgeir Waldemar’s second album, No Offending Borders, is an excellent combination of profound acoustic and classic rock sounds. While the majority of the album is energetic rock & roll, there are some stunning folk songs that emulate his Norwegian Grammy nominated debut album. Hailing from Norway, Torgeir is an incredibly introspective and talented singer-songwriter whose music contains rich influences in American rock and folk.
The record starts off with an acoustic cover of Link Wray’s Falling Rain, and with somber lyrics like “there’s no place on this planet where peace can be found – people dying all over the world’ and “the whole world has gone insane”, this song could have easily been written today. Torgeir’s version is greatly slowed down, which allows listeners to really listen to the words and feel all the sentiments they evoke out of us.
Falling Rain is followed by Summer In Toulouse, an extravagant rock song that varies widely from what Torgeir has produced in the past as a solo artist. Among The Low is pure folk rock that incorporates the banjo and distorted electric guitar sounds. Along with The Bottom of the Well, these two songs sound like they originated in the American Southwest.
If there were a playlist of the most beautiful songs in the world, Island Bliss would be on it. It is an absolutely gorgeous, intimate piece that captivates you for a brief moment in time. A beautiful melody accompanied by guitar picking and gentle synths, it is truly 5 minutes of pure bliss. It is no surprise to anyone that Torgeir could easily be mistaken for a comrade of Neil Young, and it is songs like Sylvia where you can really draw a parallel to the Americana artist. There is an epigrammatic electric guitar solo at 5:15 that will just resonate so well with your soul and make you wish that more music like this was created in today’s day and age.
Souls On A String is a gem, and in a way the poster child of this multi-faceted album. A strikingly simple yet melodic lyric with whimsical synths in the background, it is an atmospheric song with a twang, and it’s chillingly good. If you isolate the synthesizers, baroque and eccentric in nature, they give the slightest hint of Andrew Bird.
No Offending Borders, simply put, is real music. Whether he is jamming out hard core or gently strumming along his guitar, Torgeir is consistently heartfelt in his delivery, a hallmark of every exceptional artist.