mon 20/08/2018

CD: Röyksopp - The Inevitable End | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Röyksopp - The Inevitable End

CD: Röyksopp - The Inevitable End

Final album from Norwegian pair is their finest hour

Röyksopp, overcome by a purple patch

Röyksopp have mustered fantastic moments during their career, notably the awesome floor-filler "Eple", one of pop’s most joyous, bouncy instrumentals. Since appearing at the turn of the century from the creative excitement of Norway’s second city, Bergen, which was bubbling over with electronic mavericks at the time, they have released four albums, each riding enthusiastically, accessibly and imaginatively across the landscape of electronic pop, usually with a strong house flavour. Now, however, alongside the claim their fifth will be their final album, they give us a melancholic synth-pop masterpiece, better even than their well-loved debut, Melody AM.

The duo - Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland – have stated that the mood of this album is flavoured by events in their personal lives. It’s fast clear those events are broken love, betrayal, infidelity, and the existential meaning of human relationships. Take the fabulous, driving  “Save Me” with vocals by singer-songwriter Susanne Sundfør, which talks of “coming down hard, hard as hell”, and hits home like the Pet Shop Boys in a bad mood having it out with Orbital. The Inevitable End is overflowing with such drama, assisted by well-judged vocals from Robyn (with whom Röyksopp recently did the Do It Again mini-album), Jamie McDermott from London cult band The Irrepressibles, the aforementioned Sundfør, and a Welsh singer called Ryan James, whose fragile tones add pathos to the pulsing “Sordid Affair”.

Röyksopp have long written music that falls into the lineage of classic heritage electronica – Kraftwerk, Vangelis and so on, - and tracks such as “Coup de Grace” tip their hat to that, as well as being rich with swelling emotion redolent of cult soundtrack kingpins such as Francis Lai and Michael Nyman. The version of the album I have comes with a second CD called Prologue which contains five extra tracks. All of these are easy on the ear but nothing matches the striking electro-pop grandeur of the main event.

Overleaf: Watch the video for "Monument" by Röyksopp and Robyn

The mood is flavoured by events in their personal lives... broken love, betrayal, infidelity, and the existential meaning of human relationships

rating

Editor Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters