Lemon River
(Tutl, 2001)

Klakki is a Danish group that makes a specialty of setting poetry to music. On Lemon River, the group's third album, the material is texts inspired by Chinese poetry. The songs were written by Nina Bjork Eliasson and Hasse Poulsen and the words are in English.

Eliasson sings and plays harmonium, Poulsen plays guitars. Klakki's other members are Henrik Simon Simonsen (double bass) and Lars Juul (drums and percussion). The arrangements are varied; some have an almost alternative feeling ("Two Rainbows"), while others are folkier. "Indigo Serenade" is a lazy bluesy number. "Holidays" has a two-step beat that brings to mind Cajun music. "Blood and Gore" is the celebratory oration of a hero victorious in battle that trails off into an extended repetitive fadeout.

Some pieces are more experimental. "Since You've Gone" matches Eliasson's high squeaky vocals to scratchy bowing on some stringed instrument. "Storm Coming" has more squeaky vocals, while "Happy Man" has a frenetically wandering guitar part. Eliasson has the range to sing at both ends of the scale but I found that the pieces where she was whispering or squeaky got on my nerves. A little of the high-pitched humming on "The One and Only" goes a long way.

Lemon River is an interesting project. Listeners who are looking for an experimental twist on folk-rock should check it out.

- Rambles
written by Jennifer Hanson
published 17 January 2004

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