Album Reviews

Haakon Ellingsen: The Plum Album [Album Review]

Haakon Ellingsen

Written by Fense

Like Sweden, Norway churns out some pretty great pop bands and one of those is Haakon Ellingsen. Ellingsen’s music is a mixture of pop and folk that is occasionally reminiscent of The Beatles, but not in an distracting or negatively impacting, overtly-influenced manner; maybe a hint of The Polyphonic Spree’s epic nature, as well.

Ellingsen is not your typical self-indulgent, self-named artist. Certainly, he surrounds himself with great musicians, but he’s not the focal force behind the songs he creates. Each song is heavily orchestrated, full with strings and horns and keys. Ellingsen may be the vocal force, but his music is much more classic than your simple pop or folk artists.

These traits all filter through virtually every moment of The Plum Album. An exception is “Charlie”, a stripped down, folksy tune whose lyrics border on country — yet the tune has a distinct pop element to it. Other tunes, like “Dear Funny” draw similarities to Jens Lekman for the quirky, low vocals and borderline humorous, story-like lyrics.

Ellingsen is an old-school pop artist. Several of his musical influences (with exception to Lekman) are seemingly pre-Beattles. Still, there’s a bit of a 60s psychedelic folk sound to several tunes on The Plum Album; others delve into chamber and baroque pop. They all flow well together, too…

The past few weeks have been filled with turmoil as I started a new job, camped out with the girlfriend’s parents so my commute wouldn’t be so horrendous, and contemplated how to make ends meet. Now on the eve of a minor move to a town whose population cannot top 300, I realize that The Plum Album is the perfect album for my current mood. It’s uplifting and fun and has all the pop elements a pop fan could want.

Haakon Ellingsen: Sunshine Girl [mp3]

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Haakon Ellingsen: The Sky Police [mp3]

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The Plum Album by Haakon Ellingsen

[CD, 2008]

1. Sunshine Girl
2. Tonight
3. The Teacher
4. Charlie
5. Love To Be With You
6. 100 Years Ago
7. Dear Funny
8. Miss Universe And Me
9. I’d Stay In This Mood All My Life If I Could
10. They Play With The Wind
11. Barefoot Sunshine Girl
12. The Sky Police

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