(2019 - Antlen Records - Norway)
Debut release by Norwegian quartet who create an instantly lovable, melodic, intelligent rock, in a blend of U2, The Cure, Tears For Fears, Simple Minds, Radiohead, and Icehouse 80's fantastico. With the favor of every song (10 of them) being an easy pick for a top hit (and radio play) no moments go wasted in what certainly is one of the finest first albums of any pop/rock band ever. Members are Lars Olav Mangelrød (guitars), Helge Corneliussen (bass/vocals), Sølve Eggebø (keyboards) and Magnar Lofthus (drums). Their name translates to Wisemen, and with the knowledge of their background and this transition to the pop world, they certainly are wise men.
Besides being inspired by some of the better and most noted 1980's rock and pop acts, the production, arrangements, and smart lyrics, the individual composition skills are noble, methodical, and concise. Compact in the sense of being exactly the needed length to communicate the words and stay strong throughout, not only for airplay, but for the ever so growing soundbyte population. Visemenn are not without a few tricks and twists in their execution. This is from the way the members met, all working in a long term experimental and improvisational jam band project called 'a Crack in Time and the Break of Dawn' (they have several CDs out in Norway). Although the bulk of the music is easily accessible and generous in direct cognizance, a spare moment or two is used for an odd chord change or off track progression. Using rare moments of progressive rock as a part of the formula proves a smart move.
'You Are' has a sincere sound, a perfectly produced, balanced, and rich atmosphere. The music has all the key trademarks of partially haunting, heartstring pulling, and solid pop song craft. The last song 'Prelude' brings the album to its knees, with a huge all instrumental post rock epic (it does feature voices as choral, for an even bigger sprawl) and proves Visemenn can do more than just a couple of styles. BEAUTIFUL! What can we expect next? All I know is with their first one, this band has a clear winner.
©Reviewed by Lee Henderson 5 - 4 - 2019