Now, it’s on to Norway as we continue to go country-by-country for this seven-week look at Nordic pop. Despite being significantly smaller, population-wise, from Sweden – five million people, roughly, as opposed to nine million – musically it’s also contributed a lot. Like Sweden, there’s a lot of Norwegian music on the radio and you wouldn’t realize it… at least until the time you finish going through this. Unless you already knew about it.
Röyksopp’s fifth album, The Inevitable End, might just be, well, the end: while the Norwegian duo said have not announced a split, they say this might be their last full-length album. If their last EP with Robyn (who also collaborates on this album) is to be judged, you’ll see they have a point: Do It Again is five tight tracks, but that is not a knock on The Inevitable End, which, again, shows off Röyksopp’s range. The record mostly hinges on the softer side of things – hard beginning, softer as it goes – but has a brooding energy creeping underneath. It’s over, it seems to scream, or whatever comes closest to it. It’s going to end. The collaborators – Jamie McDermott and Susanne Sundfør included – seem to not want it to end, but by the time the final track “Thank You” rolls along, we all just give up. And it’s a fascinating trip. You just don’t know if Röyksopp did the right call or not. [NB] | 4/5