Little Things (Ger)

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aec.imt769646.2
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    Little Things (Ger) Nettwerk
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Review

Review Text Remember elementary school music class? It was always the best when they handed out the percussion instruments. On Little Things, her U.S. debut, Norway's Hanne Hukkelberg crosses that sense of joyful creation with her stately, unencumbered songwriting and contributions from friends and fellow musicians (including members of Jagga Jazzist and Shining) for an album that has whimsy in its back pocket and tambourines for hands. Brushes hush and banjos bounce along in rickety time. The programming and sampling work of producer Kåre Christoffer Vestrheim washes through the backgrounds of these songs, and glockenspiels, keys, vibes, and shaking eggs tinker in the foreground. Theremins whir, music boxes twinkle, mandolins and B-3s mumble, and metal rubs against green glass. There are charming whistles, odd mouth rhythms, honking tubas, and even stuttering bicycle spokes; jazz appears elementally in the displaced but perfectly arranged whisper of woodwinds and brass. "Little Girl" creaks and jerks along like a traveling salesman's coughing jalopy, Hukkelberg's warm, wide-eyed vocal making her peaceful girl at the center of all the clattering noise. Not to make her sound childlike. It would be tempting to do that -- her voice has a wondering quality, and there's a storybook lilt to some of Little Things' lyrics. But these songs are sturdy behind their occasionally outlandish musical turns -- they aren't an experiment in giving the inner child her own wooden block to knock on. Swirling strings, a plucked banjo, and a treated drum track -- not to mention the breathy clarinets -- make "Displaced" sound like Tin Pan Alley meeting Blade Runner, while quiet moments like "Kæft" or "True Love" suggest Emiliana Torrini or Múm. Hukkelberg has made a very personal album that's nevertheless inviting with its myriad noises and deftly sketched melodies. ~ Johnny Loftus

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Hoist Anchor
  2. 2. Searching
  3. 3. Little Girl
  4. 4. Cast Anchor
  5. 5. Do Not As I Do
  6. 6. Balloon
  7. 7. Displaced
  8. 8. Ease
  9. 9. Conversion
  10. 10. True Love
  11. 11. Keft
  12. 12. Words And A Piece Of Paper
  13. 13. Boble
  14. 14. Professor

Product Details

Release Date
3/25/08 

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