Hjálmar: Órar

Forward movement, lacking in highlights
Words by Bergrún Anna Hallsteinsdóttir
Hjálmar live a somewhat unchallenged existence as the kings of the Icelandic reggae scene (as there are barely any other reggae bands out here), and while they do a tip top job of creating a unique sound, blending the warmth of Jamaica with the eccentricity of Iceland, this isolation means that their progress musically is slow and difficult.

‘Órar’, their fifth album, is another step down the path that the band has been forging for the last seven years. This latest effort bears some of the fruits of this hard won progress and moves into a more funky sound, away from the same old, same old of the last three albums. Unfortunately, the album sorely lacks the very important element of a stand-out track. While they have produced something that seems to make moves in a new direction, it lacks a defining element to make it great.



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