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The Understanding

4.1 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, July 12, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

One of the most beloved and best selling artists in the electronic genre, Royksopp returns with this highly anticipated 2nd album The Understanding. Combining lush atmospherics with swoonworthy pop, the Norwegian duo deliver a delectable follow-up to their worldwide hit Melody AM. Contains 12 total tracks. Astralwerks. 2005.

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In 2002, the Norwegian duo of Svein Berge and Torbjorn Brundtland found a sweet spot between wispy Moon Safari-style pop and Boards of Canada-like atmospherics on the widely-admired Melody A.M. The Understanding sounds relatively absent-minded, careening around the room like a panicky fly. Some of it works well; the bouncy "Only This Moment" resembles Fischerspooner at their silliest (and thus, most fun), while "49 Percent" gets a huge lift from a New Jack vocal courtesy of Chelonis R. Jones. But the record is too often thwarted by syrupy synth-pop ("Follow My Ruin") as well as the lack of shifty downtempo rhythms and avant-garde underpinnings that kept Melody so pleasantly grounded. They haven’t lost their knack for subtle hooks and well-placed cross-rhythms, like the slippery keyboard squibble that glides its way into "What Else Is There?" But the sophomore curse is hard to overcome, and though there’s plenty here to recommend, Berge and Brundtland aren’t able to break the spell. NOTE: The limited edition version of the record includes an all-new 5-song B-Side EP. –Matthew Cooke

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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Triumphant
  2. Only This Moment
  3. 49 Percent
  4. Sombre Detune
  5. Follow My Ruin
  6. Beautiful Day Without You
  7. What Else Is There?
  8. Circuit Breaker
  9. Alpha Male
  10. Someone Like Me
  11. Dead To The World
  12. Tristesse Globale


Product details

  • Audio CD (July 12, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Astralwerks
  • ASIN: B0009RQRP6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,170 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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