Album Review

Vijaya – “Vijaya ” – [Exergy Music]

Thurston Hunger   3/30/2006   A Library, CD

Singer/songwriter LOTTA KARLSSON (aka Vijaya) hooks up with
her Stockholmies to produce a pop gem. It’s got that old
Drag City been-up-all-night-might-as-well-wait-for-sunrise
kinda vibe. Her voice is solemn but still pretty. The songs
are stark in structure, but glorious here in realization;
thanks largely to a certain Svengali Dali, MATTIAS OLSSON.
Something about his mellotron. It just knows how to capture
the happiness in sorrow, with that little tremble. It really
does add a theatrical grandeur to tracks, whenever it rushes
into the mix, you feel your universe expand. Most of these
numbers end up riding off into a seven-second sunset like
the heroes they are. Other players add coloring, some nice
light smokey trumpet from PER STYREGARD illuminates the
“Great Big City.” In fitting with the all-nighter energy,
most of the tracks are groggy, but still alert. “Your Gun
Will Never Set You Free” does charge things up a bit, and
recalls MATTIAS’ excellent work with Ak-Momo. “Reflections”
also gets a vox humana to prance about a plucky guitar line,
but the rest have a sort of saddle sadness, vague aire of
country (again like Drag City denizens, Edith Frost for one.)
Lyrics are often sweetly self-help straightforward. I’d love
to see more bands (like Low) visit Roth Handle Studios to get
this tarnished but varnished feel. Aces! -Thurston Hunger

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