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Laughing Stock - Zero Acts 1&2

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Laughing Stock
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Music For Drifting
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February 25, 2021
Picking up from their website that an early musical influence was UK band ‘Talk Talk’ it is, therefore, no surprise that they probably chose their name, ‘Laughing Stock’ from the same-named track on a ‘Talk-Talk’ album. But these guys are certainly no laughing stock and far from being anything like their name suggests. Their tunes are all beautifully composed, well arranged and passionately delivered with masses of style and charisma. But although their output tends more towards a yield of extremely song-based material, it does not easily slot into any specific generic category. In fact, there is a line on their website, which I shall steal, that goes some way as to place them into the grand scheme of music genera and I quote “They have a distinctive sound of their own. Not quite pop, not quite prog, not quite folk, but a wonderful combination of them all”.
Even though on first play the sheer melodic intent of the music is immediately accessible there are far deeper levels of the composite musical structure to explore and in order to do so requires several listens to get to understand and appreciate. In fact to fully appreciate the compositional skills that contribute to this album it absolutely requires the listener to shut out the world and fully concentrate on each and every phase of the proceedings. The payback for such concentrated attention reveals a profoundly haunting and dramatic beauty throughout the entire twelve-track programme. Gorgeous vocals with oodles of multipart harmonies colouring the proceedings. All of which creates an air of sentimental melancholy that literally take your breath away. From an instrumental perspective, there are multitudes of wonderful instrumental adornments, lovely swathes of varying keyboard fills and intrusions of deeply resonant cello creating atmospheres of lingering eeriness. There are too many incursions of exquisite electric and acoustic guitar which shine out brightly from the various soundscapes. All the while magical well-considered drumming provides the quintessential background and platform that support the music in its entirety.
Summary: Such a beautiful well thought out and performed programme of music with periods hymn like quality. So relaxing and soothing;
Jan Mikael Sørensen
Håvard Enge
Jan Erik Kirkevold Nilsen
1 Welcome 2:27
2 When Darkness Comes 4:38
3 Nighttime 6:24
4 Imaginary Friend 4:06
5 School 3:33
6 Child 4:12
7. Leave me Alone 4:44
8. My Love pt 1 4:04
9. My Love pt 2 4:13
10 Last Supper 3:32
11. Zero 4:31
12. Curtain Falls 1:48
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