Published December 1, 2006
Benni Hemm Hemm has been named Golden Boy of Icelandic pop in this publication. Judging by his self-titled debut, released last year, the title isn’t far off, winning two awards at last year’s Icelandic Music Awards. The music sounds something like indie big-band pop, with trumpets, acoustic guitar and horns playing a big part, at times reminiscent of the ever-influential Belle and Sebastian. Benni is a good songwriter, the melodies are interesting but the album suffers from Benni’s singing, which really isn’t strong enough. I struggle to imagine a time when I would put this CD on, maybe as a prelude to some heavy drinking and dancing with some party people of the cute generation – it sounds as if it would be a lot of fun to see performed live – but isn’t really suited for the home stereo. Benni proves that he’s a talented songwriter and the band performs well. It’s simply not the follow-up I was anticipating.