The Understanding

BY Philip DowneyPublished Aug 1, 2005

Since Röyksopp’s 2001 album Melody A.M. was a big hit, it’s only fair to compare it directly to The Understanding. Quite simply, The Understanding is better. It comes together better as an album, and on whole, the individual songs are better. They have had more ideas for orchestration and song structure and are able to bring these ideas to fruition. It’s a little more "real” than Melody A.M., with more guitars, strings and proper songs. Many of the tracks are lush, especially the single "Only This Moment” and "Dead to the World.” Chelonis R. Jones adds Chicago house-styled guest vocals to the otherwise poppy "49 Percent” and Karin Dreijer does an excellent Kate Bush turn on "What Else Is There?” There are some very danceable instrumental tracks too, such as "Sombre Detune” with its pulsing electronic break beats and "Alpha Male,” a long workout with overtones of progressive rock in its beats, harmonies and at the end, a flute. The only weak track would be "Circuit Breaker,” with silly vocals and uninspiring beats. There’s nothing quite as charming as "Eple” or "Remind Me,” but with the average quality higher, it’s a very enjoyable album.
(Wall of Sound)

Latest Coverage