Torgeir Waldemar 'No Offending Borders' Album Review

Torgeir Waldemar, nicknamed the Norwegian Man In Black, sings with a lovely tenor voice. He’s a Norwegian musician who debuted his first EP in 2012.

No Offending Borders discusses the devastation we encounter in our daily lives and how much more common it is becoming. It compares personal devastation to the global devastation of today. The album switches between honest and raw acoustic songs, to larger-sounding elements.The lyrics are craftily written, with political elements emerging from poetic lines.

The album begins with the beautiful, melancholic 'Falling Rain', beautiful singing and poetic lyrics accompanied by a simply plucked guitar. This is a song full of feeling, enhanced by the harmonica that is introduced halfway through (I do love a bit of harmonica!). I’m surprised to find it at the beginning of the album, though - it feels like it should be in the calmer middle of an album. 'Summer in Toulouse' is a distinct change - from acoustic plucking to electric guitar, drums, and a rocky melody. 'Among the Low' is full of a variety of interesting sounds - intriguing from the first second. I can’t fit this song into a genre - it uses distorted sounding electric guitar next to a banjo. 'Island Bliss' returns to the simple plucking style - another lovely opening to a song. The plucked songs really compliment Torgeir’s voice, and bring out emotion in his voice. I could listen to this song on repeat; it’s gorgeous.

'Sylvia (Southern People)' opens with a sound like an air siren, once again steering away from the acoustic guitar - this song actually reminds me of Fleetwood Mac - mostly due to the harmonies involved and the energy of the song. I really love the opening of 'The Bottom of the Well', with the echoing sounds of what sounds like a pickaxe against rock accompanying it. This song adheres more to the blues genre with its repeating refrains and it’s subject matter; it discusses the strange feeling of hope in a destitute life:

“I can see the bottom of the well, now that there is nothing more to tell”.

'Souls on a String' employs an experimental use of reverb - it sounds like it is being sung in a huge cathedral, giving it a ghostly feeling, highlighted with the women backing singers. Again, I can’t place this song in a genre until it develops into a slow-rock sound, though some would say it has distinct folk sounds. The album ends on a melodic acoustic song with beautiful melodies, again returning to a bluesy style. My favourites on the album were definitely the calmer acoustic songs - Torgeir’s voice fits the style so well and charges them with emotion... I only wish the album was a bit longer!



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