Title - 'Romantika' (Unheard Of Music)
Artist - Anders Holst
A resident of New York, but a native of Sweden, Anders Holst has recorded an extremely interesting and enjoyable collection of songs on his new release ‘Romantika’. From the opening track, Billy Joel’s ‘All About Soul’ through the albums ten tracks, we are treated to beautifully written and played songs that achingly prompt visions of romance, fine wine and moody lighting. You might say it is the perfect first date CD. He may not be a well known name as yet, but Anders Holst is certainly getting an impressive reputation for jazz-tinged, soulful writing and well crafted songs.
Lyrically, as the name of the album suggests, he is concentrating on romance, personal relationships and reflective thoughts on what might have been. As such, we can all identify with his message. He has a nice, lyrical voice that complements his words in a soulful, effortless way. Musically, the playing and arrangements are closer to mid 1980s than late 2000. In itself, this is not a bad thing.
These days it is a welcomed pleasure to hear musicians playing their instruments in a skilful and accomplished manner rather than synthesised or sampled. As such, the overall sound of the recordings are nearer the clean pop/jazz musings of a Prefab Sprout than the soulless productions of today. You could say that he is flying the flag for European pop music almost single-handed in an ocean of R&B.
I feel that Anders Holst has something interesting to say, and, in today’s hyper-competitive contemporary music market I sincerely hope that his message gets heard. His music may hark back to simpler times but romance never goes out of fashion. In a world of uncertainties love and romance will always be a constant. The strength of Romantika lies in the message; and the skill and talent of Anders Holst will have you returning to it time and again.
Reviewed by: Peter 'taB' Walker