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MUSIC REVIEW: Danophone's Rerun

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Danish singer-songwriter Carsten Nielsen has released the debut album Rerun for his project Danophone, an effort that overcomes some technical shortcomings to create an interesting and encouraging first effort.

The project is a mix of acoustic adult-contemporary tracks and light pop. In releasing the album, Nielsen claims (appropriately as it turns out) John Mayer and The Script as some of his key influences. Throughout the release's eleven tracks Nielsen shows a passion for hard-wrought lyrics and blended guitar tones.

Nielsen works as a science journalist by day and is flanked by fellow journalist Tino Pedersen on backing vocals, bass and guitars. This professional bent toward the written word is the clear strong point throughout the album. Lyrically, Nielsen is able to draw on his experience as a writer to give the tracks a useful kick. For instance, he gives an impassioned plea for unity on the standout track "Meet in the Middle."

However, the lyrics need to make up for some inconsistencies on the accompaniment. The instrumental work falls just short throughout the release, as the timing between bass, guitars and drums pushes and pulls consistently.

The instrumental tones and mix are also cause for concern. The ensemble aesthetic tends to be fairly disconnected and brittle, as if the majority of the album is made of overdubs rather than tight live performances. Each instrument stands just too far on its own, keeping that "organic" feel just beyond their reach.

While Rerun may have its technical shortcomings, Nielsen has proven a willingness to seek his own voice. It's a valiant first step and one that Nielsen and company can hopefully build off of in their future projects.

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