Bringing through something of a classic, often eighties to nineties vibe, with a hint of modern pop-rock and the occasional purity of folk, Rasmus Fynbo is a songwriter with a fine ear for melody, and a generally likable approach to crafting music as escapism for contemporary fans.
Fresh from his recent album Unbelonging (Revisited), the song Grease Monkey is a quickly addictive hit, engaging from the offset then proving all the more interesting and entrancing as it progresses. You wind up lost in this anthem-like moment of unity, amidst unpredictable, fascinating lyrics, and an almost Africa-like level of warmth and familiarity.
The set-up is beautiful, there’s something decidedly accessible about it – simple, organic rhythms, a hint of funk, flickers of soul in the guitar work and the vocal play. Meanwhile, there’s a distinct and consistent groove to the whole thing, and the gently hypnotic vocals make for a smooth addition to that already enjoyable vibe.
It’s a great song, but it’s not alone in that realm – the rest of this album proves a beautifully heartfelt and genuinely refreshing, interesting listening experience.
Elise and The Guardian Angel is absolutely another stand out – featuring a choir-like anthem again, with seductive guitar work and a touch of Verve-inspired strings to really heighten the emotion and sense of contrast; the song walks calmly through its soothing verses, before lifting up the room as the resolve of the hook boldly kicks in.
What works about these songs is Fynbo’s clear fondness for, and ability to build, long-form, immersive melody-lines – the sort that artistically reflect the underlying sentiments of the writing. In the case of Elise, the song builds up to a stunning degree, the final third exploding into this immense moment of passion and power. As a listener, you’re swept away on this journey, and so the song becomes that addictive, satisfying go-to – that essential escapism, which you can turn to and turn up loud and let go within.
While these two songs have a series of threads, the vocal style being a strong one, there’s a massive level of eclecticism on this album in full. Songs like Aftermath lead with a quiet take on story-telling – a family film-like lightness, with a soundscape and vocal beautifully in tune with that feeling. Things rise up as always, a calling card of Fynbo’s compositions, but you’re definitely in some other moment here than anywhere else, and this turns out to be subtly true for each of the songs on the project.
Rocketpack Upgrade is another fine example, a surprising shuffle of a song with a huge sense of character, an intriguing, addictive groove, and lashings of world-music-inspired colour. Every time, the moment is rightfully dedicated to its cause, to its purpose, and this highlights Rasmus Fynbo as an artist with a clear love for the process, and a clear understanding of how to have a song completely rain down around its audience; so that nothing else matters for a while.
Since 2006, Fynbo has released five original albums, an achievement that this latest project speaks volumes on behalf of. That level of skill, knowledge and authenticity can’t be faked, and generally takes a lot of dedication to reach.
If you’re looking for a playlist of songs that feel meaningful, mildly familiar yet completely new in subject and overall output, Unbelonging (Revisited) is a beautiful place to begin. Not just being about the songs, or the singing, but being also massively about the composition, the build-up, the representation of a single story and series of thoughts. Impressive musicianship meets with brilliantly memorable, captivating melodies, and always the quality is unquestionably high.
From this album in particular, Good To Go is another personal favourite, a simple folk-pop hit that’s memorable for its piano work as much as for that hook melody. Quickly there become too many to mention though. A wonderful album, a pleasure to have fill the room.
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