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Petter Carlsen - Glimt review

Petter Carlsen is an underappreciated artist, considering his talent, as well as his light and fairly accessible style. I discovered him through Anathema, checked out a few songs, and I’ve been stuck since. He writes simple, honest tunes that revolves around his crystal clear voice. “Glimt” is his fourth full length album.

Now in Norwegian

The major twist on “Glimt” is that he now sings in his native Norwegian. It was a bit strange at first, but it really makes sense. Lyrically, the album is a bit more positive; a lot of the songs revolve around acceptance and appreciation of others. I’m usually turned off by these topics, but just like before Petter delivers his lines with a profound honesty that enforces the music.

A continuation of the softer sound

Just like the latest album “Sirens”, this is channeling the softer side of his sound. The guitars are mostly acoustic or clean, and there is not much in terms of rock drumming or electric guitars going on here. The lack of urgency disappointed me initially, but as the songs grew I understood how naturally it came. This is Petter’s greatest strength, beside his fantastic voice: he’s an honest, straightforward songwriter that naturally writes fluid and pleasant songs with memorable melodies. The production sound on “Glimt” is great, having a broad, breezy feeling that almost makes it sound shoegazy at times. It fits the music perfectly.

Petter’s voice in focus

Even though I’d enjoy some more instrumental action, this really allows his voice to shine. The breezy, echoing backdrops of songs like “Majestet” (my favorite from “Glimt”) and “Ekko” channels more of a light post rock sound, rather than the traditional singer/songwriter base in many of the previous songs. The mood reminds me a bit of what Anathema has been up to on the lighter moments in their newer era. It’s not surprising, considering his connection to the band. “Bensin” has some electronic layers and a drum loop that goes into more of an indie rock territory, sounding like an updated take on his first two records. As much as I can miss urgency in the music on “Glimt” at times, I still find myself coming back to the softer moments more.

“Glimt” – another fine addition to the Petter Carlsen discography

I don’t see “Glimt” taking the Petter Carlsen crown from “Clocks Don’t Count”, even with repeated listens. It’s just another damn fine Petter Carlsen record that explores a different side of his musical pallette. How a guy with so much talent and such a genuine expression hasn’t gotten more popular, I will never know. Check his records out, you won’t regret it!

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