Heart Smart

Sondre Lerche: Heartbeat Radio

Reviewed by Jessica Hilo

 I first caught wind of a return to the eighties with the rise of Michael Cera and the renaissance of Brantley Foster’s hooded sweatshirt- smells of rain. Turning and turning in the widening gyre- soon came the shoulder pads and lyrca; the economic turmoil; the flocked seagulls of male updos. It was a matter of time before we saw a return of crooner Harry Connick Jr.- a trend I’m happy to welcome back in Sondre Lerche’s Heartbeat Radio. A not-too-bold departure from the pop of his former days, Lerche’s Heartbeat showcases the Norwegian singer-songwriter’s talent for kitsch in its many forms. Fun uses of instrumentation and plays in genres like rhythm and blues and seventies songwriting a la Harry Nilsson are punctuated by dreamy, exaggerated, electro-string accompaniment and poetry in lyric- where Lerche, as always, excels. Stand out tracks include album opener “Good Luck,” “Heartbeat Radio,” and “I Guess It’s Gonna Rain Today.” If I have to suffer through the eighties a second time, rocked like a hurricane, I’m thankful to have a talent like Sondre Lerche put a little heartbeat on my radio.