Album Reviews: Duper Sessions by Sondre LercheFor Sondre Lerche's third album, the Norwegian singer-songwriter has decided to take a bit of a break from the sunny indie pop path his career has taken so far, opting for a collection of small-combo jazz-pop songs. Much like Elvis Costello's Get Happy!!, Duper Sessions (recorded at Duper Studio in Bergen, Norway) is hardly stop-gap compilation of odds and ends, but rather a fully-realized collection of mature songs in a different pop vein altogether. Like Get Happy!! did for Costello, Duper Sessions will allow this young artist some space to reassess the critical pigeonhole that has begun to develop around his career.
Of course, Duper Sessions isn't a complete departure. Lerche's knack for writing instantly catchy pop tunes is fully intact on this record, given significantly more swing by the jazzy arrangements. While this is hardly an authentic jazz record, Duper Sessions hits a reasonable groove between pop and jazz, a more classically-tinted vehicle for the songwriter's gift for melody. Three covers, including the big band classic "The More I See You," "Nightingales," by Prefab Spout's Paddy McAloon, and Cole Porter's "Night and Day" fit perfectly in the set. The overall outcome offers a chance for Lerche to flex his arrangement muscles, taking on slightly broader compositions while putting together a set of tunes still readily accessible to fans. - Cory O'Malley
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