Ólafur Arnalds: For Now I Am Winter - The Reykjavik Grapevine

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Ólafur Arnalds: For Now I Am Winter

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Published June 6, 2013

Following Ólafur’s fantastic performance at Sónar Reykjavík, I was almost certain that I would give ‘For Now I Am Winter’ a glowing review. I expected (wanted, even) to enjoy this album immensely.
So why do I find it so average? It’s not that it would have functioned better as an EP that featured only the strongest songs. And it’s not that some tracks seem to have been composed for film or TV (perhaps I am being too cynical there). No, I think the main problem is, with the exception of “Old Skin,” that it leaves me more or less utterly cold. The album is not badly performed (far from it), but it seems to be lacking passion.
The strongest songs are those featuring Árnor Dan Arnarson (of Agent Fresco) and I don’t think that is too much of a coincidence. His evocative vocals help provide a much needed emotional gravity to the songs. There is a difference between using emotive chords, harmonies and melodies and actually playing with emotion. ‘For Now I Am Winter’ feels like it is lacking in the latter and it suffers for it.
I just cannot get into it as much as I hoped I would.

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