Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Album Review: "Restless Soul" - Tingsek

From what seems like an endless line of creative Swedish musical geniuses comes Malmo’s very own Magnus Tingsek, with his fourth album "Restless Soul", which he tells us on the sleeve notes was made in a 25m² room in Malmo, and should be played loud. Sometimes you wonder what they are putting in the water in Sweden, to create so many talented singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalists. He writes, sings and plays bass, drums, guitar, piano, percussion...the list goes on.

One other thing I noticed on the sleevenotes was a heartfelt comment by Tingsek: "I make music for one reason only: I love it and simply can’t live this life without it". I think that speaks volumes about this man’s passion for music - and I could identify with that as a listener too.

To describe Tingsek’s music? Well, the best description for me would be "acoustic soul". "Good Vs Bad" which is by far the best track on the album, was also released as a single and just missed out on my 2009-50 chart because I discovered it too late. Had I heard it earlier, it would probably have made my top 10 songs of last year. (I didn’t expect any new material from him so soon after 2008’s "Too Many Feelings At The Same Time" so that was my main reason for not checking if he had any new material coming out.) Tingsek has his very own sound but brings in some other influences from time to time. "Stimulation Overload" with its chord progressions completely reminds me of Sinclair, one of my favourite French artists (although is not really indicative of Sinclair’s predominantly soul/funk style - but, well....still reminds me of him anyway, I’m finding it hard to describe!)

"Six Years" is very indicative of the Tingsek template - choppy guitars and minimal keyboards - and features Pauline on guest vocals. I was unfamiliar with her work prior to Melodifestivalen 2010, where she competed with "Sucker For Love" which has totally grown on me since then even though she didn’t reach the final. Anyway this works very well.

The other guest artist on the album, Slakah The Beatchild, adds an extra dimension particularly on "Leave It All Behind". Another track worth recommending is "Stick To You" which is very danceable and has that Daft Punk "Harder, Better, Faster Stronger" feel to it, only in Tingsek style of course.

There are also delicious string flourishes which often add a special touch. My only criticism of this album is that melody is often sacrificed for exquisite musical arrangements. Tingsek’s passion for his music is unquestionable, but a bit more work on the melodic side wouldn’t have gone amiss. What can’t be denied however is that Magnus Tingsek has a very distinctive sound and a creative spark which will ensure that he will be around for a long time to come.

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