Torgeir Waldemar “The Norwegian Man In Black”, has revisited some of the tracks from his first two albums for Jamais Vu. As the title may suggest, he has taken the familiar and reassembled the songs and created a new experience for the listener. He's been a fan of messing around with his songs live for a while, mixing them up, evolving them as works of art rather than setting them in aspic. "Songs never stand still, at least not for me. They want to go on. After some years of playing them live, many have moved far away from where their starting point was. That’s why I often experience Jamais Vu and that’s how this release was born." says Waldemar. Electric songs become acoustic, acoustic become electric on this album. While unplugging and plugging in could seem pretty simplistic, and many bands have done just that, Waldemar goes the extra mile that you would expect such a troubadour to do.
The tracks are embellished with rootsy backing vocals, sound effects and additional instrumentation to give them new life. The acoustic version of Sylvia channels the same raw angst of Neil Young's Southern Man, the track that inspired it. Among The Low is given a folk makeover replete with fiddles, banjo and a rousing three-part harmony that embellishes the religious themes of the lyrics. Midway through a surprise accordion gives the track a traditional European musical flavour. Take Me Home gets cranked up with a dirty blues guitar opening the track. Just like the switch (spoiler alert) of genre in From Dusk Till Dawn the track turns from a dusty road movie soundtrack to No Country For Old Men as a haunting southern chorus of 'if the Lord wants me who knows who I am because I'm covered in blood.' The spiritual vocal style mixed with the dust-bowl western feel is a perfect fusion for the track and one that Waldemar has surpassed himself with.
Critics may say that re-recording tracks is just a way of putting out material because you have nothing else, to them I say on this occasion you are wrong. Torgeir Waldemar has proved it doesn't matter if a song is acoustic, electric, stripped down, filled out, a good song will always be a good song.
Groupie Rating 3/5