Saturday, 24 September 2011

Review: Next Stop: Horizon

Next Stop: Horizon - We Know Exactly Where We Are Going (Tapete Records)
This is the closest I‘ve ever come to listening to a Tom Waits tribute album, and it’s as close as I ever want to come. That despite the vocals being predominantly female and all the songs present being original compositions of Next Stop: Horizon, a Swedish duo comprising Par Hagstrom and Jenny Roos.

Along with their musician friends they have thrown themselves into the Kurt Weill side of Tom Waits' work, and the result is nine tedious tunes that, even if Tom were singing them, would be far too much. That leaves three other songs to be accounted for, two of which are sung by Par. The first is "Ship In A Bottle", with a lonely piano backing, then a choral vocal kicks in alongside, with just the hint of an orchestra, but these melt away to leave the voice and piano to drift out alone into the cold; quite superb. The raging and quite beautiful ballad "One Of Those Nights", again sung by Par, accompanied by a reverb-drenched electric guitar, gives a huge hint as to what this band might achieve if they choose to vary their work. It’s full-on emotion, and creates a sheer wall of beauty, and is the standout track on the album. Jenny splendidly takes up the penultimate “Love Is All”, a near classic slice of anthemic indie pop, with the help of an accordion.

Not enough then to recommend this actual album, but if you get the chance to hear "One Of Those Nights" you might just buy it for this one magnificent track.
Kev A.

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