Published April 26, 2012
Finally the mighty Todmobile have returned. I figured the best way to engage with this new epic was to take it for a long car drive in the countryside. I listened to it twice in a row to confirm my immediate conclusion: This album is alarmingly boring and pompous.
What made Todmobile special was how quirky and unpredictable they were, and their ability to marry those qualities with gripping, gorgeous and often menacing operatic pop/rock tunes. That edge is gone. What kills this album is the horrid Hollywood musical meets Eurovision contest-like feel to it. Case in point is “Hér og nú,” which is decapitated on its chorus’ altar. Such brutal deaths are strewn across the album. It’s as if mastermind Þorvaldur Bjarni accidentally sent intended Eurovision contest entries to the rest of the band and they went along with it. Other ill-advised decisions include cutting Andrea Gylfadóttir’s vocal time to make room for the band’s latest vocal addition, singer Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson. This guy can sing and his almost power metal singing-on-a-top-of-a-snowy-mountain approach is amazing, but the two singers don’t always gel.
At the end of the day ‘7’ needs more Andrea Gylfadóttir. Opener “Sjúklegt sjóv” possesses redeeming qualities; it’s a bit different from the band’s older material, playful in its peculiarity and Andrea leads over its odd vibes. “Gleym mér ei” also escapes the band’s poor judgement, light on its feet yet mysterious. That’s Todmobile with its head screwed on. It’s all for naught, though.
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