Anne Marie Almedal - Memory Lane
Memory Lane marks the first solo release outside of Norway from Anne Marie Almedal. After fronting indie rock Velvet Belly, pop electronica outfit AM and the UV and some initial solo excursions this album finds her in considered folk song territory. Despite her Scandinavian roots, she draws upon American country folk templates alongside English-tinged material (the album is mixed by John Wood and features Danny Thompson, both of whom worked with Nick Drake). In general these influences imbue the album with a gentle grace.
Lyrically, we’re in the traditional territories of loves lost and found and they add to the folk pop sensibility. There are the odd stumbles, though. When 'May You Never' reaches the clunky "May you never lose your temper if you get in a bar-room fight," it proves the dangers of writing in a non-native tongue. For this listener the songs come across as finely crafted, often beautifully fragile but also emotionally flat and ultimately, un-engaging - perhaps due to the lyrical distance. All of the constituent parts are present, from genre adherent styles, to the song construction and delivery but there's an emptiness at its core that means that in defiance of its title, this album risks being soon forgotten.