White Willow — Signal to Noise
(Laser's Edge LE1046, 2006, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-01-01
Each successive White Willow album finds the band further along their evolutionary path, establishing their own unique sound amid numerous Scandinavian symphonic retro-prog bands. And each new disc holds some kind of surprise, this time being the addition of new lead singer Trude Eidtang; perhaps she is the strongest and most distinctive frontperson this band has ever had, her vocal style is riveting, seductive and packs a bit of attitude, unlike some of the ‘pretty’ singers who fronted the band previously. The compositions – again nearly all by guitarist and bandleader Jacob Holm-Lupo, have backed off the harder rock sound of the previous record, Storm Season, and the excessive symphonics and dynamics have been trimmed back a bit to better showcase the subtleties of their sound and give more clarity and space to the vocals. At the same time a bit more of the folk element of their early releases has been reintroduced, though in a bit more of a modern context. The melodies are strong and colorful, yet generally tend to the melancholic side, while the arrangements and instrumentation balance vintage and modern sounds in such a way that neither dominates. Opinions may vary, but this is my review, and to these ears this is White Willow’s strongest release to date. Recommended.
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more