Their debut ‘Melody A.M.’ became an icon of the new millennium, and the sophomore, suggestively named ‘The Understanding’, is eagerly awaited by many.
-Not simply anticipated as the soon-to-come advent of a new past-time, but rather with hopes of a fresh issue of material that will come to constitute the soundtrack to a period of life, just as ‘Melody did’.
To become such existential accompaniment is perhaps the mark of all great popular music, and Röyksopp managed, in a special way, to play this part for hundreds of thousands of young people with their debut.
So the question is can the duo achieve this again? Has their expression evolved with their fans? Or will they perhaps instead strike those who have come of age in the four years that have elapsed since last time?
Readied for UK release on June 27th and global release the following day, ‘The Understanding’ will subsequently hit the shops in the US on July 12th.
However a number of Norwegian papers have already reviewed the album, and here are some reactions to the duo’s much anticipated follow-up:
Dagbladet: “Not straightforwardly weaker than before, but without the painful splendour of buds blooming.”
VG: “( ) a record that in no way manages to surprise, but (rather) bears the duo’s distinct electronic signature. At the same time it cherishes more ambient and atmospheric expressions than did its forerunner ‘Melody A.M.’
According to the duo themselves they have made a darker and deeper album, yet more immediate due to a stronger emphasis on melody. This might seem to entail that they have moved in the direction of mainstream pop, and even if Norwegian critics seem to think this recipe is only partly successful, the true judgement will be the UK-release. The UK-market alone guzzled about half of the million plus copies sold of the debut, and it is, of course, notoriously indifferent to conceptions and critics “elsewhere”
‘The Understanding' will be in US shops on 12 July.