Published Apr 04, 2014Since Norwegian nu-disco king Todd Terje's 2012 single "Inspector Norse," from his It's the Arps EP, hit it big, he's been on a bit of a hot streak: after releasing "Lanzarote," a collaborative single with fellow Norwegian disco maven Lindstrøm, Terje dropped back to back EPs, the international-flavoured Strandbar and Spiral, which boasted twin house epics "Spiral" and "Q."
On It's Album Time, Terje spends as much time in the lounge as he does on the dance floor. That sounds like a bad thing, but walking the fine line between kitsch and genius is hardly new territory for Terje. After the sparkling ruby herring Terje throws with the album's "Intro," "Leisure Suit Preben" lumbers in, slowly at first — disappointingly, even. But as it builds, it begins to swagger, and by the end it's a thumping techno track punctuated by vibraphones that, once schmaltzy, now sound almost ominous.
Terje's ability to make a track morph so imperceptibly that by its end, you're sure you've begun a new track — and often, you have, as in the case of "Leisure Suit Preben" and "Preben Goes to Acapulco" and part one and two of "Swing Star" — defines the album, as it struts around the beach boardwalk ("Acapulco") and the casino ("Alfonso Muskedunder") on its way to the lounge ("Leisure Suit") and the dance floor ("Strandbar," "Delorean Dynamite"). Even Terje's stop at the last-call bar with Bryan Ferry on Robert Palmer cover "Johnny and Mary" is expertly done, somberly (and gorgeously) swirling where the original popped and fizzed.
It's Album Time ends back on the dance floor with the essential "Inspector Norse," the perfect disco closer for Terje's revue. He might have the Midas touch when it comes to genre, but when it comes to his last word, Terje is wise enough to say it in his first language. (Olsen)