Published June 10, 2005
I’m looking at the album photos and listening to the CD, I can’t understand how Joe Cocker crawled into the body of what looks like an 18-year-old Icelandic boy. It’s not just that this young man has an outstanding range, it’s that his phrasing is similar to a fifty-year-old soul singer. The guitar work on the album is minimal, light steel-string acoustic work often strummed without a pick, but it works well to set a mood. All of these things should be celebrated. The curious thing, with such outstanding vocals, musicianship and recording, is that nobody stepped in to take young Helgi’s pen away. The rhymes in a line like “But you came along lifted me HIGH, in the SKY I don’t know WHY”, especially when sung with such passion, damn near make you want to CRY. Perhaps like Joe Cocker or Jeff Buckley, Helgi Valur might be better suited to singing other people’s songs. Even with his considerable talents, I can’t see myself making it through repeated listenings of “Can you see it slip AWAY, Do you sense we missed our DAY.”
Worth 3 beers, more if you have difficulties with English. Costs 3 beers.