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Behold

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Album Review

Slightly more experienced than the ranks of artists discovered online, Danish singer/songwriter Mads Langer had already released two studio albums through Copenhagen Records before impressing Sony bosses with his MySpace-uploaded acoustic EP, Fact - Fiction. Pop - Or??? Despite his new major-label deal, an impressive array of producers including Martin Terefe (KT Tunstall), Ethan Allen (Tricky), and Sacha Skarbek (Bon Jovi), and a backing vocalist in the shape of Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins, his third effort, Behold, is entirely void of bombastics or studio trickery, sticking closely to the emotive Nordic guitar-based pop sound that helped him to get signed in the first place. With Jeff Buckley cited as his main influence, there are a few attempts to replicate the audacious sound of his idol, such as the shimmering falsetto-led ballad "The River Has Run Wild" and the gospel-tinged "Fact-Fiction," but the majority of its 12 tracks are much more conventional, with the likes of the James Blunt-esque "Riding Elevators," the beachside folk of "Microscope," and the gently lilting dream pop of "I Love You" all perfectly designed to soundtrack the closing credits of your average Hollywood rom-com. As pleasantly inoffensive as these are, Behold is much more intriguing when Langer stops trying to play the romantic lead, as on the surprisingly effective cover version of Olive's "You're Not Alone," which turns the '90s trip-hop classic into an equally melancholic acoustic shuffle, and the heartbreaking chiming indie pop of "Last Flower" (one of three tracks here that also appeared on 2009's self-titled release), inspired by the fan whose funeral Langer played at following a request in her suicide note. There's enough here to explain why his previous output attracted such high-profile attention, but he needs to abandon his MOR sensibilities if he's to stand a chance of making his voice heard among the plethora of similar singer/guitarists. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Biography

Born: 1984 in Skive, Denmark

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

An established singer/songwriter in his home nation of Denmark and beyond, the multi-instrumentalist Mads Langer was born in 1984 in the northern town of Skive. A brooding, heart-on-sleeve performer in the vein of Jeff Buckley and Thom Yorke, Langer learned his craft by dividing his early years between studying the piano and playing in a Rage Against the Machine covers band. On leaving school, he moved to the capital in order to attend the Royal Danish Academy of Music. Shortly afterward he signed...
Full bio
Behold, Mads Langer
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, World
  • Released: May 09, 2011

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