Dr. Zühlke and Mr. Eldon - The Reykjavik Grapevine

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Dr. Zühlke and Mr. Eldon


Published August 21, 2009

The country hi-jinks here are pretty enjoyable when things are at their most energetic, and there really isn’t a single particularly bad thing about this album… but maybe that’s just because there really isn’t anything particular about this album at all. In fact, maybe I’ll just stop right there. I’m really not sure what else to say. It’s kind of nice outside. Maybe I’ll take a walk. And get some ice cream. Yeah, ice cream would be great. Should I get sprinkles?
—SINDRI ELDON

Maybe the hardest part of being a writer is when you get handed a record with an honestly enthusiastic and anticipating smile—‘hey, this is good stuff, you must check it out’—and you do check it out and are totally not into it. I guess it is even harder when the record is the new album of an Icelandic legend like Bo Halldórsson. If you write something bad, maybe you didn’t understand it? Or do you suck at having taste? Will people be mad at you for writing this?
    So you lie back and think of Iceland. Maybe start with something nice: Sígrænir söngvar is a deep record; its production values are of the highest possible calibre. Bo is a professional; you get that from every note and every thought-out vocal line. Also, he scored help from artists like Sigríður Thorlacius of Hjaltalín, even his son Krummi of Mínus and Esja. So what’s there to beef about?
    Maybe that this is not Rock ‘n’ Roll at all, but very old-fashioned and conservative folk-pop. I think of German Schlager, respectable bands that compete in the Eurovision song contest (actually Bo did take part). This is the crucial point for the record: many people will like Sígrænir söngvar, like they like Eurovision. It’s just they are way past their fifties. I like my rock to rock, and am not among them.
—FLORIAN ZÜHLKE

  • MySpace retron
  • Sindri’s take: Fun, if you’re the one playing it.
  • Florian’s take: Annoying synthie-metal mixture.
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