Tuesday, 23 October 2012

TORBEN SCHMIDT - Long Story Short (CD)

Ok, now I’m quite far outside my musical comfort zone. I’m a metal head, hard rocker, thrash fan, and generally don’t listen to westcoast or pop. However I do have a soft spot for a few artists, one being Brett Walker, which is sort of where this one lands. Even though Torben Schmidt used to sing in Danish AOR band Skagerack, Long Story Short could be compared to the stuff Joey Tempest did when Europe folded (or took a break), or, Brett Walker. This is very poppy, very melodic, but I actually really like this! Torben manages to keep it on the right side of the slimy wimp-fence. First and foremost, he’s a great singer, reminding me a bit of Alien’s Jim Jidhed, with a very pleasant voice that doesn’t sound irritatingly buttery. He also adds some rock attitude to the brew. Sure, tracks like All Is Said could probably make it well into the American country rock chart, but when Mattias Ia Eklund adds his guitar to it all, it takes a different turn. Luckily Torben hasn’t fallen into the trap Mark Spiro fell into on his last album, using programmed drums and f***ing auto tune overload. Long Story Short sounds alive and nicely dynamic in its sound and approach. Real musicians playing – check. No audible autotune – check. He’s also using musicians not immediately intimately associated to this genre, such as Mattias Ia Eklund, Chritsian Alsing and Björn Fryklund. I also love the solos in It’s The Fire by Simon Rabenhöj. Great tone and firey style. It took some soul searching to admit for a narrow minded rocker like myself, but here it is - I actually, honestly, really like and enjoy the album! Ok, there are a few tracks that are a bit too cheesy even for me, like You (one of the the only two with some programming involved) and.., well, I guess it’s actually the only one. Not my style in general, but I must say this was a nice surprise.
Janne Stark
Label: Thunderstruck
Country: Denmark
Year: 2012

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