CD Review: Dad Rocks “Mount Modern”

Posted: February 15, 2012 in Music
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Today’s best releases seem to be the ones that contain many layers. In fact, the many layers contained with the album Mount Modern from Dad Rocks are what make the release so good. The different elements help to create an album that differs from many of today’s albums from other artists who continue to stay within the normal boundaries and make the same old tired music that is continuously pushed on today’s audiences.

Dad Rocks is the moniker of multi-instrumentalist Snævar Njáll Albertsson. Albertsson is a Danish/Icelandic singer-songwriter who seems to have decided to follow his own path and create music that may not be what most music lovers would consider “commercial”. And while most of the stuff that Albertsson has created may not find its way onto American radio airwaves, that fact should not take away from the talent of this creative musician.

Snævar Njáll Albertsson has taken his unique approach to music and created his debut album entitled Mount Modern. In fact, it is the music part of Albertsson’s songs that really shine on the release. The album has many moments during which the listener could easily fall in love with the songs on the release simply because of the music that was composed by Albertsson.

It is on the first song and title track from Mount Modern from Dad Rocks that you get a real sense of the talent from Snævar Njáll Albertsson. For the most part, “Mount Modern” should be considered an instrumental track; even though the song DOES contain some vocalizing from Albertsson, there are no lyrics to the track. The song contains a “New Age” feel to the music. The guitar, trumpet and piano from Albertsson work well together with the strings from Asger Christensen and Iris Marie Jakobsen as well as with the playing of upright bass player Peter Skibsted. These elements help to create this first track of the album, which has a certain amount of beauty that most will find appealing.

While the title track of the release will definitely draw the listener in, the rest of the release may requires several listening from the listener before they accept the unusual quality in Albertsson’s voice and in the style of composition Albertsson uses for the lyrics to his songs. Nowhere is that fact more evident than on the song “Weapons”.

On “Weapons” as well as on the rest of the release, Snævar Njáll Albertsson takes a folk music approach when writing the lyrics to the song. The lyrics help convey the point that Albertsson wants to get across. “Weapons” is a song about today’s youth using today’s technology as a way of separating themselves from the older generations. The song contains Albertsson’s unusual writing style that incorporates a free-verse style of rhyming along with using unusual phrasing in his lyrics. Albertsson’s use of phrases like “vampire-time,” “ghost call” and “drunk-dial time” can be very unnerving the first few times you listen to the song and other songs on the release. However, once you get used to this style of writing and visual expression in Albertsson’s lyrics, his music becomes fun to listen to.

Another song on the release about technology also has a message. On the song “Major Labels,” Albertsson speaks his mind about the state of today’s music industry. Albertsson points out that today’s kids are more creative than ever with what they can accomplish. “They have the tools” to do what they want without the need for the major labels and the problems that come with signing with them.

One of the most unusual tracks on the Mount Modern release is the song “Farmscapers”. As the population increases even more, more land will be needed to accommodate the building of housing for the people, leaving less and less land for farming and producing food on. Albertsson’s unusual idea for a solution? Building vertical farms, or “farmscapers”.

All-in-all, Snævar Njáll Albertsson has created an album that incorporates many different elements into one enjoyable release: Whether it’s the unusual nature of Albertsson’s writing style, the subject matters Albertsson chose to write about, the approach to the all-around feel of the music which includes folk, indie, and even some Americana elements, or how beautiful the music can be from time to time on the release, the bottom line is that Mount Modern from Dad Rocks is a solid release from start to finish.

For more information on Dad Rocks and other artists, check out Paper Garden Records.

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