Review of Astrid Williamson's album Here Come The Vikings.
'Here come the Vikings'.The title has quite a formidable ring to it and I was hoping there would be some inference to bearded, beer gorged marauders charging at full tilt towards my ear drums. However, I soon came to accept that this album, although slightly more upbeat than her previous albums, lacked the thing that would've made me want to listen to it again. The album starts out a little disappointingly with the track 'Store', which I found a bit floundering both lyrically and musically.
The poor first impression tainted the remainder of the album for me and I couldn't quite get into it. After an effort of will, I psyched myself up for a second listen and begrudgingly started to appreciate this sexy Scottish songwriter's classically trained voice, as it lends plenty of atmosphere to tracks like 'How You Take My Breath Away' and 'Slake', giving a deeply chilled out vibe that would partner well with a candle-lit bath (as long as the razorblades are well out of reach). There are a couple of livelier numbers like 'Shut Your Mouth' that might force a spasmodic toe tap or shoulder shimmy, with their subtle yet effective electric guitar work.
A string of intelligent lyrics and good imagery weave through the fairly bland folk pop ballads, with their tinkling keyboard/piano accompaniment. Listening carefully, you can hear some cello and even a bit of trumpeting on certain tracks.
I've no doubt about the musical skill of the artist, but it didn't really put the fire in my belly. If you're looking for something to get you charged before a night on the town, this CD will be piss on the flames, however, if the sedatives aren't working Astrid Williamson may well come to the rescue.
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