Monuments To An Elegy
The hotly anticipated debut album by this Norwegian producer, DJ and songwriter is something of a disappointment.
This week, the tragic early death of house music pioneer and all-round genius Frankie Knuckles has led many people to revisit his deeply soulful dance tunes that confirmed that the best club music is a profound, euphoric, life-altering experience. In stark contrast, Terje sounds as if he is chucking this stuff out for shits and giggles. The half-assed non-title is definitely a clue.
Thus Preben Goes To Acapulco flirts with Blaxploitation wah-wah funk and goes nowhere much. Svensk Saas is a blare of spindly bossa nova and sounds like a hipster in-joke. Preben Goes To Acapulco and Alfonso Muskunder are two of the many tracks that sound like themes from rightly long-forgotten 70s TV detective shows. Bizarrely, Bryan Ferry croons a funereal version of Robert Palmer’s Johnny And Mary.
When Terje gets it right, he is tremendous. Strandbar is ace, a funksome old-school disco floor-filler, and Inspector Norse is a picaresque electro-odyssey that meanders enchantingly. Yet for the most part, Todd Terje needs to realise that the best dance music is a very serious business.