Ranarim / For varlden alskar vad som ar brokot
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För världen älskar vad som är brokot
Drone Music (www.drone.se) cd cover

"Life loves the unexpected." Philosophical truism or the title of Ranarim's new release? The Swedish quartet has expanded out to six for this sophomore release. The inclusion of Anders Johnsson on bass and Sebastian Notini on percussion adds a depth and cohesiveness to the sparkling sound we came to know and love on their strong debut, Till the Light of Day. The center of it all is still the powerful vocals of Sofia Sandén and Ulrika Bodén.
The women stretch their range and dynamics on this one, giving this collection of traditional songs a meatiness and passion that befits their subject matter. Harmonizing effortlessly over the breathless string playing of Jens Engelbrecht (guitar, mandolin and other stuff) and Niklas Roswall (nyckelharpa), they sing of love, water sprites, cattle herding, and tennis. "I min ungdom (In My Youth)" is a down-and-dirty minor key lament for lost love, sung over grinding nyckelharpa and angular percussion. The women flex their vocal muscles with a short example of a herding call, followed up by a haunting, vaguely jazzy arrangement of the same tune over high nyckelharpa, guitar, and shaker. The group comes up with several new and inventive ways around the polska. "Slängpolskor" is a pair of eighteenth century dances played with a relaxed but emphatic swing. Roswall's "Sista polskan (The Last Polska)" is a slow, evocative melody, whereas his "Tennisbaronessan (The Tennis Baroness)" is a fast-paced lark with some tongue-challenging contrapuntal scat singing. While not a lot of new ground is broken on this release, there is just enough of the unexpected to make it stand up to repeated listening. - Peggy Latkovich

Available at cdRoots

Audio ©2003 Drone Music, Sweden

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