MAJOR PARKINSON

(NORWAY)

BLACKBOX

(2017)
LABEL:

KARISMA RECORDS

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE ROCK

TAGS:
Electro, Epic, Experimental, Hovering, Low vocals, Symphonic, Theatrical
"With "Blackbox", Major Parkinson offers us one of the most original and worked musical treasures of the year. Highly recommended."
NUNO777 (14.11.2017)  
4/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s)
In three albums and one live performance, the Norwegians of Major Parkinson have acquired the status of a band with a strong personality whose every new release is a surprise, heralding changes of direction and evolution. After debuting in a rather progressive and avant-garde art-pop style, "Blackbox" suggests a metamorphosis in Major Parkinson's collegial writing after the reshuffling of half of their line-up following the release of "Live At Ricks".

Like many of their compatriots, Major Parkinson's Norwegians cultivate the art of renewal in continuity. This "Blackbox", whose name reveals a darkness already occasionally detectable in Major Parkinson, is faithful to the protean creativity of its progenitors by bringing into play European folk music, progressive rock and a strong propensity for theatricality. Major Parkinson shapes its rich atmospheres with a great deal of electronic textures whose density is lightened by the subtle use of more organic instrumentation (pianos, violins and cellos, tuba, saxophone, trombone, trumpet, xylophone, horn and choirs of ten female voices).

"Blackbox" is cut into four thematic parts separated by three interludes making it more affordable to listen to. The first two tracks of the album, 'Lover, Lower Me Down' and 'Night Hitcher', offer a mix of space-pop and romantic new-wave in which Jon Ivar Kollbotn's cavernous murmurs and Linn Frøkedal's velvet voice works wonders. Well framed by the murky piano/voice of 'Before The Helmets' and the intriguing instrumental 'Scenes from Edison's Black', the epic 'Isabel-A Report to an Academy' unrolls the soundtrack of a fantastic scenario with multiple twists and turns. The same harmonic complexity can be heard in the breathtaking 'Baseball' with a brighter tone and a strong return to theatricality.

A few shimmering stars pierce the infinite night of 'Blackbox' through the ethereal feminine refrains and xylophones of 'Madeleine Crumbles', perfectly contrasted by the starkly dark verses. The end of the record finds the latent gravity that runs through it with the depressive 'Strawberry Suicide' and 'Blackbox' in the form of a gothic mass celebrated by a jazz big band with mystical language and contained fury. Major Parkinson has given birth to a coherent work of art, even in the lyrics of the songs, always as thorough and hallucinated as ever. 

It is impossible to remain insensitive when confronted with such an artistic singularity. Enthusiasts will admire the creativity in "Blackbox" and will revel in the feeling of strangeness that, once again, shakes up comforts and habits. Perhaps even more carnal with its palpable atmospheres than with previous albums, this delicious experience of the bizarre which the band cultivates is disconcerting. For all that, Major Parkinson doesn't despise its audience because it is always guided by a true melodic research within everyone's reach. For those open-minded enough to welcome this work, "Blackbox" proves to be a most captivating treasure.
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. Lover, Lower Me Down-04:47 
02. Night Hitcher-05:46 
03. Before the Helmets-01:25 
04. Isabel: A Report to an Academy-09:41 
05. Scenes from Edison's Black Maria-01:46 
06. Madeleine Crumbles-05:06 
07. Baseball-10:20 
08. Strawberry Suicide-02:57 
09. Blakbox-05:48

LINEUP:
Claudia Cox: Violon, Choeurs
Eivind Gammersvik: Basse
Jon Ivar Kollbotn: Chant
Lars Christian Bjørknes: Claviers
Øysten Bech-eriksen: Guitares / Choeurs
Sondre Skollevoll: Guitares
Sondre Veland: Batterie
Linn Frøkedal: Chant / Invité
   
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