Thursday, May 23, 2013

TROELS SKOVGAARD: "Songs of Life, Love and Lies"

Rating: RRRR
Label: Bosco Productions 2013
Review by: Endre "Bandi" Huebner

Though his music may not at all be described as "mainstream" in this webzine or anywhere else for that matter, Troels' previous albums scored perfect or close to perfect points here. Quality is quality even if no lion manes or poodles hairdos are attached to it. "Songs of Life, Love and Lies" may sound a bit clichéful for a title yet the album itself is musically diverse and definitely value for your money in general. Its artful packaging, its top-notch production: well-balanced mix, brilliant engineering with jingling highs and booming lows and crystal clear vocal tracks and the 10 tracks including no fillers make it a well-justified investment.

It opens up with "Keep On Playing the Blues" a - surprise! surprise! - cool blues-rock number, something Gary Moore would have killed for to have written even in his glory days. Mr Skovgaard's playing lives up to Gary however Troels' vocals are superior by far. Okay, that wasn't saying much anyway...:) but believe me, he sings quite well. Behind every successful man, there is a woman... or two if they are lucky. Well, Troels' wife contributed to this project with the artwork while her daughter added her (lead and backing) vocals. [Richie Blackmore eat your heart out... oh, and this Dane is not forced to wear the clothes of the Court Jester while playing lyres and lutes. ouch!] "Me and Manhattan and You" is a soulful swing tune, if you enjoyed "When I First Kissed You" on the "Pornograffitti" album by Extreme, you'll love this one. There are a couple of other good bluesy tunes and some fine acoustic ballads however these first two tracks got stuck with you for weeks. Those in the favor of a the delta bluese with some jazzy touces should check out "Mrs River" which is a good stomping blues tunes smoothened by a highly melodic refrain and sweet thick backing vocal tracks.

I might be getting old but I really enjoyed the album without getting rocked. I missed the instrumental numbers though, Troels' previous album featured some brilliant instrumental tunes and the 40 minutes total running time is a little short for me however it is better to have 10 good tracks than 2 more fillers. All in all I can't complain, got what I expected, the standards were set high but "Songs of Life, Love and Lies" delivered. Make sure to check it out yourselves.

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