Sondre Lerche, 'Heartbeat Radio' (Rounder)

8
Heartbeat Radio
Critical Mass
Label: Rounder

by Barry Walters

On his previous offerings, this Norwegian singer-songwriter has been a smooth jazz crooner, a spiky pop-rocker, and a simpatico soundtrack composer. With Heartbeat Radio, Lerche aligns all his identities: Gentlemanly melodies glide across elegant guitars and High Llama Sean O'Hagan's swelling string arrangements. Living in cramped New York apartments has sharpened both Lerche's wit and feng shui -- a heightened wryness now complements his compositional facility, and every banjo and trombone filigree feels essential.

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