Most Enjoyable Albums of 2020

This was not an all-bad music year. Everything else was bad in 2020, but musicians stayed at home and some made beautiful music, alone or together with other musicians. Some cheated and made music before Covid-19 became a term on everybody’s lips. One artist on my list was even dead – and his friends finished the album for him, decades later.

But my ears have enjoyed themselves throughout 2020. So, thank you, artists, for keeping writing, performing and producing terrific music, particularly those of you who pride yourself of playing your own instruments, singing, harmonizing, looking back for inspiration, standing on shoulders of giants, still creating unique, contemporary music.

Before I gave you my favourite top 10 list, let me mention an additional 20 wonderful albums I have had a special pleasure of reviewing and listening to this year (in alphabetical order) :

All Rise Gregory Porter
Bakkekontakt Marthe Wang
Been Around A Girl Called Eddy
Bigger Love John Legend
Maya Hawke Blush
Come In From the Rain Solveig Slettahjell
Correspondence Jens Lekman & Annika Norlin
Down in the Weeds Where The World Once Was – Bright Eyes
En fremmed banker på – Terje Formoe
From Out of Nowhere – Jeff Lynne’s ELO
Happy Hour on the Floor Parsonsfield
Hundre dager Ine Hoem
I’d Rather Lead a Band Loundon Wainwright III
Like Animals Charlie Dore
Patience Sondre Lerche
Saint Cloud Waxachatchee
Songs for Our Daughter Laura Marling
Tea for the Tillerman2 – Yousef/Cat Stevens
The Lost Album Drake Bell
True Romantic – Ziemba

Then on to my special favourites. Albums that stood out and that I enjoyed more than anything else I have listened to this year. ( I have reviewed 113 albums of the more than 200 albums I have listened to, so there’s quite a few to choose from… )

You may notice that very few, if any of these albums will be found on most other reviewers’ top 10 list. Which just comes to prove that this blog has a different outlook and attitude than most reviewers. Hopefully, since many of you keep reading and keep listening, (slightly more of you this year than last year), my choices appeal to enough of you to make it worthwhile.

So, these are my top ten choices of 2020. (Some of the albums were released in 2019, but reviewed by me in 2020. ) You’ll find a link to the individual albums by clicking on the cover. If you want to listen to all of them, I have made a separate list.

Click HERE for all 10 albums.

SAWAYAMA Rina Sawayama

Yes, it’s dance music – and very much Top 40 material, but I would argue with a difference. Japanese-British Rina Sawayama has made the most interesting dance album this year. Daring and innovative.

Personal Best ? Bendik Brænne

Country, Americana and pop intertwined. Norwegian singer Bendik Brænne adds sugar and spice to this delightful album, sometimes sugary sweet, other times with considerable bite.

Are You In Love? Basia Bulat

I love the hoarseness of Basia Bulat’s powerful voice, a value added to her magnificent writing and melodic flair.

Frenchy Thomas Dutronc

French guitar virtuoser Thomas DeTronc plays his guitars better than he sings, but who cares when he so cleverly builds bridges between the American and the French Songbooks. It is a true sing-a-long album. Pure joy.

Heartbreaker Please Teddy Thompson

You must work hard and be in a particularly bad mood to find fault with Teddy Thompson’s songwriting. This is such a well-written, well performed album from an Englishman in New York. I keep listening to it again and again.

Semper Eadem Mimmi

I am going to repeat myself… I come across, all the time, artists that don’t get the recognition they so clearly deserve. Mimmi Tamba, is a prime example. She has released two albums, Semper Eadem this year, that are among the finest and most creative and musically surprising available, but you need to work hard to find anyone talking about her work. She pays no heed to the trends in the business, yet her music is contemporary and moving. I do sincerely hope she will keep on recording.

Harry Nilsson Losst and Founnd

Talking about artists that don’t get the credit they deserve: Harry Nilsson was loved by fellow musicians and many critics, but never became a true superstar (except with Without You and Everybody’s talkin’ , none of which he wrote). He died in 1994. Before he died he had started and nearly finished a come-back album. Record producer Mark Hudson held on to the tapes, and 25 years later it was re-mixed, brushed up and released, I would say in the true spirit of Nilsson. Listen to that voice, even after years of boozing!

Kristallen Nils Landgren & Jan Lundgren

How to know the difference between Landgren and Lundgren? Landgren is the trombonist and the singer, Lundgren the pianist, but otherwise they’re one. Although the album is found in the jazz section of your (non-existan) record store, Nils and Jan take you on a tour of genres, through The Beatles’ «I will» to Swedish lullaby «Byssan Lull». I can’t praise the result enough, this is an album that restores a fragile soul with its beauty.

Intro Lola Young

It happens once in a while: a new artist comes on the stage, and immediately gets a worldwide following. Lola Young is Billie Eillish, Kacey Musgreaves, maybe even Amy Winehouse material, but she isn’t there yet. Not because she doesn’t have it. She does. She is a true artist with words, she plays with her lyrics, eloquent albeit simple rhymes. Still there is meaning and sense in her lyrics, about being young (sic) and living in this day and age.

Modern Love Various Artists

For the first time since I started issuing a top 10 list, I have picked a compilation album as the year’s most enjoyable. I’m not too fond of compilation albums, soundtracks and live albums, but the soundtrack from the Amazon prime series Modern Love is different (and so is the TV series – if you every want to brighten up your day, put on an episode, and watch the whole series). A number of superb artists have contributed, Regina Spektor, The Divine Comedy, Thomas Dybdahl, Goldfrapp, Anne Hathaway, Nerina Pallot and Gary Clark. This is uncomplicated but nevertheless sophisticated pop. And although each song is moulded to fit the episode it is featured in, it is perfectly all right to listen to the album separately. Modern Love, the music and the TV series and the column in the New York Times, celebrate love in all its variants. Isn’t that a great way to leave 2020?

Please let me continue to lend your ears in 2021.

End of Summer

Yes, Summer is over as one of our featured artists suggest, and it is reflected in the music currently released. Even more so I imagine the pandemic is reflected in the songs, both those down-to-earth, close-to-the-microphone – songs, and the defiant, happy give-the-world-the-finger – songs.

This is the last regular blog list of 2020, but I’ll come back and sum up the year closer to Christimas, with my pick of the best of this horrid year.

If you are already in the Christmas Mood, let me re-introduce my list of brand new Christmas releases from 2019, just click HERE 🙂

How to listen:

Petter’s Short List contains excerpts of the albums and singles reviewed in the current blog entry. Click here.

But you can also listen to Petter’s Long List, which contains all music reviewed this far in 2020, now more than 27 hours of continuous music….. Click here.

And – by clicking on the album covers in the blog, you will be taken directly to that particular album in full..

Down in the Weeds Where the World Once Was
Bright Eyes

Fabulous comeback from Bright Eyes, the band encompassing Conor Oberst, the man with the saddest voice on the planet. Still, the album only makes me happy and wanting to sing along.

End of Summer
Espen Eriksen Trio

Not sure you like contempary jazz? Espen Eriksen Trio might be your path in to this particular world, melodic and haunting, while tecnically brillant.

En fremmed banker på
Terje Formoe

My good friend Terje Formoe started out as a folk singer more than 40 years ago, and has returned to his roots, having in the meantime written, produced and performed in Norway’s most enduring and popular children’s universe, Captain Sabertooth. I am glad he is back as a singer, creating heartfelt, down-to-earth songs brimming with humanity.

Giver Taker

Non-binary, trans and of Malawian heritage artist Anijmile from Texas has released a truly suprising debut album, hard to pin down, beautiful while painful, and well worth listening to.

The Hollow of Humdrum
Red Rum Club

Unashamed fun from sixtet Red Rum Club, happy rock’n’roll with lyrics that seem to ignore totally the woes of the world. It feels good to foot tap again. But remember one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor.

I’d Rather Lead a Band
Loundon Wainwright III

Such style, such absolutely perfect nostalgia – folk singer Loundon Wainwright III takes us back to a time very few of us have been part of, and we all feel at home there, with a big band that sounds like, I guess, the big bands sounded in the 1920s. If they had today’s recording equipment. Which they didn’t.

Read the Sign
Odd René Andersen & The Close Shaves

They all stayed at home and never met, but musicians recording Read the Sign still made it swing, and soul & jazz singer Odd Rene Andersen has rarely sounded better. Still, I wish they had a bit more interesting material to work with. The best tracks are in the blog list.

Fleet Foxes

The Fleet Foxes harmonies are back! So appropriate with tiny waves on the cover, this is how Fleet Foxes music feels. A number of great tracks, fluid and, yes, catching, at times even hummable.

Sunset in the Blue
Melody Gardot

A delightful new album from the voice that warms you like a tea cozie. Melody Gardot has picked songs from the jazz catalogue at large, whatever fits her – and so definitely our – moods. Sounds so effortless. I am sure it isn’t.

Tea for the Tillerman2
Cat Stevens/Yusuf

One should think it is a brilliant idea to re-record an album fifty years hence. But also nerve wracking, not only for the artist, for the audience as well that loved it the first time around. Cat Stevens has shown respect for his own original work, but changed as much as his lifetime of experience has let him do, not to improve, but to show us all that we move with the times, and so does music. This is no longer 1970. We are not necessarily wiser, we are that same, but more weathered, more experienced, less certain. I am deeply moved by listening to the young Cat Stevens singing a duet with himself half a century later in Father and Son.

Tomorrow Again
Saint Saviour

Becky Jones, lead singer of Groove Armada, is out with her third solo album as the artist Saint Saviour. It is a deeply personal, tender album . Not all songs are readily accessible, it feels as if we are eavesdropping on a private recording, but most of the time Saint Saviour opens the door and invites us in.

Total Freedom
Kathleen Edwards

Kathleen Edwards has been away from the music stage for a long time. Following a period of heavy drinking, she decided to quit her life off the rails, went back to her native Canada and opened Quitter cafe – and after a while started recording Total Freedom, a gem of an album, with sometimes wry, other times happy lyrics, but always melodic and upbeat music.

True Romantic

Now, who is this Ziemba who writes and performs some of the catchiest music of the year? With lyrics that seem to reveal all? Her real name is Rene Kladzyk from El Paso. She used to get attention for selling song-specific scents to the audience at her concerts. Now she shouldn’t need gimmicks like that any more…


You might find this month’s personal favourites among the singles, because a great number of well-established artists have released just one or two songs recently. Of course it is cumbersome and challenging to record for weeks in a studio these days, so let’s be happy with whatever they bring us. So much to choose from; my singles list has never been longer than this.

You will also find a few – let’s call them pre-Christmas releases. And a classic track from Elton John not previously released.


Ain Du – ISAK

Aldri i livet – Nr. 4

Angels – ARY

Another Space and Time – Laura Veirs

Blackness of the Night – Bill Callahan, Bonnie Prince Billy, AZITA

Californian Soil/Baby It’s You – London Grammar

Carageen – Jodie Marie

Checka – Delara & Loredana

Come Down in Time (Jazz version) – Elton John

Come Give Me Love – First Aid Kit

Curve a Line – CATT

Dido’s Lament – Annie Lennox

Elita – Gary Barlow, Michael Bublé & Sebastian Yatra

Fysstereisgutt – Kjell Reianes & Vera Ottesen

God is in the Detour – VanWyck

Happy Days – Cory Henry

Heartbeats – Amason & Dante

Heart of Glass – Miley Cirus

Here for Good – Jordan Moyes

The Hills of Cinnamon/Pancho & Lefty – The Lilac Time

Indian Jasmine – Zouzouelectric

Joyous We’ll Be – Adam Douglas

A Little Bit Yours – JP Saxe

Next Life – Nerina Pallot

Part VII (Live) – Keith Jarett

Sing to the Moon – Laura Mvula & The Chapel Choir of Pembroke College, Cambridge

Still Here for You – Northkid


Trouble of the World – Sinéad O’Connor

Tru på meg – Odd Einar

Turn on the Lights – Jamie Cullum

Vilde Piger, Vilde Drenge – Oh Land & Zeritu Kebede

Vi trenger ikke hage vi – Ine Hoem

Diamond Life

Finally, let’s go back to 1985 and perhaps the smoothest voice and sound in the history of pop music. Sade Adu formed a band and released Diamond Life, including the single Smooth Operator, one of the biggest hits of the 80s. With elements of jazz, soul and pop, Diamond Life didn’t fit into any of those categories, because it was a little of all, so a better term was coined: sophisti-pop. A number of other artists could easily fit into that catergory, like Simply Red, Prefab Sprout, Everything but the Girl, but Sade is the queen of genre. And Diamond Life the defining sophisti-pop album.

Come Together

It’s time for new, exciting music specifically selected for your ears by your personal algorithm – me. As opposed to your non-personal algorithm, this one might bring you music that could broaden your taste, not keep reinforcing what you already like. Not that I dislike the algorithms behind the streaming services, in fact I love then, but a bit of human touch doesn’t hurt. That’s what I try to offer in my blog list.

This month I’ll introduce you to a number of collaborators. We seem to be entering a new age of duets, at least among singles releases, people like Melody Gardot & Sting,, Ane Brun & Dustin O’Halloran, Travis & Susanna Hoffs, Steve Lukather & Ringo Starr. Wouldn’t it be a change for the better if collaboration became a theme of our age, in a wider sense than in music…

How to listen:

Petter’s Short List contains excerpts of the albums and singles reviewed in the current blog entry. Click here.

But you can also listen to Petter’s Long List, which contains all music reviewed this far in 2020, now more than 27 hours of continuous music….. Click here.

And – by clicking on the album covers in the blog, you will be taken directly to that particular album in full..

But let’s start with the albums.

’69 Corvette
Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan Wilson must be in a good place. He released a new album earlier this year, Dixie Blur, that I know many of you were taken with. Now he’s out again with a new EP, even more relaxed and emotive than the full album. And he’s already announced a new album is on its way in the spring.

All Rise
Gregory Porter

Another highly prolific artist is Gregory Porter. He has been teasing us with one single release after another, and finally here is the full album All Rise. Porter is supposedly the bestselling jazz/sould artist in the world right now, if we are to believe his record company. His deep, warm voice appeals to many, but without the good songwriting and the scale of genres, from jazz to pop to gospel, that he covers, it wouldn’t have worked as well as it does.

Bigger Love
John Legend

As with Taylor Swift’s Folklore album (August blog), critics and audience are split when it somes to John Legend’s Bigger Love album. He is getting criticized for not sticking to what he knows best, romantic R&B, but many, including me, like the fact that he dares experimenting a bit. It makes the album far more exciting and worth listening to. And there is plenty of his cute and squishy songs there to enjoy. If that’s your thing.

Maya Hawke

I had no idea who Maya Hawke was when I started listening to her debut album, Blush, I was just amazed by the quality of the songs and of her light and uplifting voice. This is a terrific debut, full of surprises and with interesting lyrics to go with the cleverly crafted songs. It turns out she is the daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, not that it matters, except to strengthen the argument for creative genes passing from one generation to the next.

The Boy Does Nothing
Alesha Dixon

If you like mambo, big band and rap, this album should excite you. Alesha Dixon is a great star in the UK, primarily as a TV personality, but she started out as a singer/rapper , and this seems to be what she does best. The Boy Does Nothing is Top 40 radio material, so it’s candy music, but with a delightful twist. Try not tapping your feet. It’s impossible.

Come In From the Rain
Solveig Slettahjell

Solveig Slettahjell is an amazing jazz singer and crossover artist. Her voice is one thing; it can warm the coldest of hearts; but her vocal technique, her ability to turn even bland songs (and there are some on this album) into gems, is amazing. This is one of her best albums, so varied and surprising and just plain lovely.

The Dirt and the Stars
Mary Chapin Carpenter

If it was peace and comfort you’re after in the music you choose to listen to, go no further. Mary Chapin Carpenter has made an album for our time. calming us down, pointing us in the direction of the stars, not the dirt, that we tend to focus on. Carpenter has been with us for a long time, I would guess mostly catering to mature women, but I hope you men out there will give The Dirt and the Stars a spin as well. You might learn something.

False Spring
Zachary Cale

I find this a mess of an album, lots of good, interesting songs, and many I just couldn’t bother with. But maybe that’s all right, because the songs I have picked, rootsy and raw and charming in a Louisiana kind of way make up for having to endure all the other songs. (You don’t, by the way, I have after all picked the best bits for the blog list.)

Old Flowers
Courtney Marie Andrews

Courtney Marie Andrews has been compared to both Linda Ronstadt and Joni Mitchell, and I can see where the comparisons are coming from. Still, there is some way to go to reach that level- But –  this album offers personal, almost deeply private songs to the listener. We haven’t heard the last of Courtney Marie.

Personal Best ?
Bendik Brænne

I have no idea where the question mark in the album title came from, because this is absolutely country artist Bendik Brænne’s best effort until now. And he has made some great efforts before. I doubt that record will stand long, because Brænne is on a stride and we can only look forward to further releases from him.  He knows his music history and is heavily influenced by music from the 50s to the 70s.  Personal Best? – not only personal best, but one of this year’s best, in my humble view.

In the Wee Smal Hours
Frank SInatra

There is a nice segue there from Bendik Brænne to Frank Sinatra. Not that they have much in common on the surface, but Brænne and many of the contemporary artists are in serious debt to Sinatra. For me Sinatra is the bridge between the American Songbook and pop music. Where would popular music have been without him?

I consider this album his best. And perhaps it was the first real concept album in the world as well. There is a common theme on the album, of love lost, of loneliness and longing, emotions no-one could possibly express better than Sinatra. With this album he makes his emotions my emotions, I feel for him and he feels for me in a strange way, not only in the way he sings, but which songs he picked for the album.  This is also band leader Nelson Riddle’s album, the mood is as much created by Riddle’s orchestrations as of Sinatra’s voice.

Finally, this month’s single releases. As I wrote initially, many duets, but also many vague promises of albums to come. I try to give you a wide range in musical genres, from big band to pop to rock to jazz – and music from many countries, the English-speaking world, Finland, Portugal, Sweden. Enjoy.

Aint No Mountain High Enough – AUST & Loren Nine

Baby It’s You – London Grammar

Bouche a Bouche – Gillian Hills

Desejo – Mariza & Yola Araujo

Flowers – Dave Thomas Junior

Genuine – Tingsek

How Long Will I Love You – Kristina Train

I Could Not Love You Enough – Sondre Lerche

I’d Die For You – Synthphonic – Margo Price

Ikuiseti minum – Marja Sala

I’m in the Doorway – Tricky & Oh Land

Leaving the Mountain – Katie Melua

The Lemonade Song – Pink Martini

Little Something – Melodi Gardot & Sting

Loose My Way – Ane Brun & Dustin O’Halloran

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress – Vaarin

Noisemaker – Daisy Dash

Nothing Left But Family – Rebecca Ferguson

The One That You Love – LP

The Only Thing – Travis & Susanna Hoffs

A Perfect Day – Loundon Wainwright III

Run to Me – Steven Lukather, Joseph Williams & Ringo Starr

Snirkelhushistorie – Julia Strzalek & Karoline Wallace

Solid Gold, Easy Action – Peaches

Therapy – The Cautious Arc

To S./To R. – Father John Misty

Turquise Walls – Laura Veirs

Wasn’t Born to Follow – Yo La Tengo

You – Paul Armfield

Roots Deep in the Ground

It is August, summer is ebbing away, and we go from chirpy and/or sobbing dancing queens, products of and with roots in the 90s, to artists and music with considerably longer roots, back to the origins of popular music.

I feel more at home there, and if you do, too, you have a lot of superb music to look forward to in my new list, including my classic pick of the month, one of my favourite albums of all time.

How to listen:

Petter’s Short List contains excerpts of the albums and singles reviewed in the current blog entry. Click here.

But you can also listen to Petter’s Long List, which contains all music reviewed this far in 2020, now more than 27 hours of continuous music….. Click here.

And – by clicking on the album covers in the blog, you will be taken directly to that particular album in full

Dave Stewart & Thomas Lindsey

Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame has replaced Annie Lennox with blues singer  Thomas Lindsey, creating a totally unique sound, with roots dug deep into the ground of Louisiana folk music. The songs are all written by the duo, though, timeless and at the same time contemporary.

Anthem + 3
Father John Misty

«Is there nothing Father John Misty cannot do?» muses a fan online, and with this small collection of covers, you may well wonder, because here are respectful albeit refreshing versions of classic from Cohen, Cat Stevens and Link Wray.  Readers of this blog know what a fan I am of the Father, but if you have missed out on his original material, make a note to self on what you are going to listen to in the coming days. No way around it.


Blues With Friends

For those of you with particularly good eyesight, the list on the cover of Dion’s collection is a most impressive one. But it is no surprise all of these legends want to play with Dion, who turned 80 recently. He is truly a master of his craft. The rawness of his voice is still there, and he can still write music that sounds as if it has been around for decades. It hasn’t.


Every Which Way
Dan Reeder

Dan Reeder sounds as if he’s 105. He’s 66. He sounds as if he’s recorded it all himself at home with instruments he has built himself. He has. And despite of that this is great music, funny, quirky, warm and wise. Makes one believe in humanity again.


First Rose of Spring
Willie Nelson

It gives hope when an 87-year old artist at that age takes on the project of releasing 5 – five – albums with favorite songs mirroring his current state of mind. This is the third, so we may get two more  – It is also the 70th studio album from the Methuselah aka Willie Nelson.


Taylor Swift

People are getting so angry! Imagine recording an album that just doesn’t sound like anything you have done before! No Swedish producers, but free, heartfelt music that doesn’t sound sophisticated, but clean all the more true. I will admit that some of the album is more introvert that I can take, but Taylor Swift has gone out on a limb, and I commend her for it. So don’t listen to the critics, give it a go.


Thomas Dutronc

Thomas Dutronc is an incredible guitar player in the Django Reinhardt tradition, but he can sing, too, and he knows his classics, particularly those coming out of or inspired by his native France. This is a fun, irreverant album, bringing very little new to the table, but who cares. Pure enjoyment and my feet are tapping without stopping.

Hate for Sale

Pretenders and Chrissie Hynde have been around for so long they are easily labelled legendary. Which they dereve. Still, this is «only» their 11th studio album. The sting is still there, though, remnants of punk, and Pretenders of 2020 offer bite as they did when they started. Very little mellowness to be found. Turn down the sound of your ear pods. Or up.


Heartbreaker Please
Teddy Thompson

Teddy Thompson is the son of Linda and Richard Thompson, Britain’s legendary (there it is again) folk singers, and it is easy to recognize the roots in his contemporary, New York made music. (He left Britain for America at 18) There is something timeless and melodic here, that makes Heartbreaker Please worth listening to.


Like Animals
Charlie Dore

Charlie Dore was an overnight success in 1979, releasing Pilot of the Airways, a song you occasionally still hear on retro radio stations. But few people followed her career after that. Instead of becoming a one-hit wonder, she released wonderful, folk albums with terrific songs, sore and personal, funny and witty. Like Animals is a wonderful example of what she can do. It is not Top 40 stuff. Thank god.


Make It Better
Francesca Blanchard

French-American Francesca Blanchard is out with her second album of indie singer-songwriter music. I don’t expect many of the tracks from Make It Better will be played on Top 40 stations either. The songs need time to do their work, but after a while they stick in your mind. Blanchard sings and writes with sincerity, humour and skill.



One of the most peculiar duos around, creators of their own musical style, toytronica, is out with another playful and oh-so- carefully constructed album, Tourists. It seems there are nothing that can’t consitute an instrument in Psapp’s world, still they create music worth listening to, melodic, playful and fun. And some of it downright weird.


Unfollow the Rules
Rufus Wainwright

Sometimes I get the feeling Rufus Wainwright is too talented for his own good. Some of the operatic stuff he’s released has felt inaccessible to me, but this time he has made an album filled to the brim with accessible music, and within a musical territory I feel at home in. He as a remarkable songwriter, and his voice is rich and expressive.

I have been waiting patiently for new material from artists like Kristina Train,  The Mummers , David Gilmour and Billie Eilish. My patience has been temporarily rewarded, with new singles from them, hopefully signalling upcoming albums.  All singles below are integrated in the list on Spotify.

Alright – VICTORIA

AmAm – Secko Keita

Eleanor – Red Rum Club

Falle frå jorda – Daniel Kvammen

Forever Alone – Kakkmaddafakka

Her Love – narou iris

I’m not Here – Paul Armfield

Keep ‘em on They Toes – Brent Cobb

Let’s Be Friends – Pink Martini

A Love Like That – Katie Melua

My future – Billie Eilish

No Place Like Home – The Mummers & Sifu

Oh Berlin – Nerina Pallot

Pools – Natalie Duncan

Schwanengesang – Rosemary Standley & Ensemble Contrast

We the People – Kristina Train

Yes, I Have Ghosts – David Gilmour

Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney’s second solo album, and the last before the creation of Wings, stands out as the living proof of McCartney’s genius. In my mind there is not a single weak track on this album. Ram made me an eternal fan of both McCartney and of The Beatles. Being born in 1957 I came to earth a few years too late to  follow the rise of the Fab Four in real time,  but I was still close enough to easily catch up. And I did.

Why is this such a classic album? Obviously, Ram plays an important role in the history of The Beatles, but for me it is the playfulness, the harmonies, the wealth of instruments used, McCartney’s lead voice at times tender, other times the great rock’n’roll singer, Linda’s harmonies, the unsurpassed songwriting, the segues from one song to another – and tracks that I haven’t tired of to this day.


Dancing Queens

It’s July, and time to be movin’! For some of us it might be to keep warm; July has been like a late September in my neck of the woods. But for whatever reason you might enjoy a bit of a rhythm to fill your summer days, here are some of the most enjoyable albums, singles and EPs  out at the moment.  And on our monthly trip down memory lane, we’re back in 1969, when The Moody Blues released their On the Threshold of a Dream album.

How to listen:

Petter’s Short List contains excerpts of the albums and singles reviewed in the current blog entry. Click here.

But you can also listen to Petter’s Long List, which contains all music reviewed this far in 2020, now more than 27 hours of continuous music….. Click here.

And – by clicking on the album covers in the blog, you will be taken directly to that particular album in full

Rina Sawayama

Rina Sawayama, with a college degree in political science from Cambridge, and with a background from Japan, is an interesting new artist. Her debut album, SAWAYAMA, while offering us mainstream dance pop and R&B, is still way more interesting to listen to than many other releases in the same category.

Future Nostalgia
Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa has a background from Albanian Kosovo, but unlike Rina Sawayama, there isn’t a hint of her roots as far as I can tell. If you’re going to make international mainstream dance-pop, you might as well do it well. Which is what Dua Lipa is doing. This is as sophisticated as dance-pop comes.

Lady Gaga

I am and have been a great fan of Lady Gaga, one of the most versatile artists in the music business today, daring and forever curious in her musical choices. But her new album is mostly a disappointment. As with the two reviews above, this is mainstream dance-pop, but unlike Dua Lipa and Rina Sawayama, the Lady is mostly repeating what others have done in drones before her. Still, there are a few exceptions, and I have picked them for you, two of them duets with Ariana Grande and Elton John respectively.

Sondre Lerche

Sondre Lerche knows his stuff, but many on many of his previous albums he has been too smart for his own good, getting lost in his own creativity. Not this time. Patience is a brilliant album, his best yet, so many beautiful and well-crafted tracks –  a delight to listen to. Perhaps this should be the sound of summer 2020, more than the dance albums above.

One Day at a Time

A little more predictable than Sondre Lerche, but One Day at a Time from Irish band Kodaline is a sweet album, with lots of velvety pop and a great number of well-crafted songs. It is far cry from the sound of Irish boy bands, if you were worried there for a minute…

The Lost Album
Drake Bell

Drake Bell is considerably more famous as a television actor than as a musician, but he did have a massive hit with his album It’s Only Time in 2006. He recorded a follow-up, but managed to lose his hard drive, and the album was never released. Until he found the hard drive in a shoe box or similar – and the rest is history as they say. The Lost Album sounds like it has been lost for longer than 14 years, and that is meant as a compliment. This is lush 1980s pop with lovely melodies, rich harmonies and a lot of pop creativity.

Italian Ice
Nicole Atkins

Nicole Atkins is hard to pin down. Her at times overly dramatic voice comes off a bit odd, but I suspect she’s having a bit of fun, too. And as far as the music goes, this is clever stuff, very well executed and arranged, with more than a hint of nostalgia.

Happy Madness

Delicatessen is a Brazilian jazz/bossa nova group- Their new album mostly consists of standards, but Delicatessen, with their lead vocalist Rowena Jameson, make the well-known songs their own. And let’s face it: it is also the sound of summer to be swingin’ in the breeze with these guys, who know their bossa nova when they hear it.


A lot of great music comes out of Belgium these days, and the Belgians are smart enough to expose the world to their best artists through Eurovision Song Contest. A few years back, young singer Blanche impressed many of us with her City Lights, perhaps one of the most sophisticated entries in ESC ever. We have waited patiently for her first album, and here it is. Arguably it could have been stronger, but maybe my expectations were just too high. Still, as a debut this is way above average, with a lovely mix of soul, electro and a dash of indie music.

An extraordinary number of exciting new singles and EPs are out. Perhaps artists find it hard to record full albums with the restrictions forced on us by the corona pandemic.  This month I offer you new songs from seasoned artists like Elton John, Cat Stevens, Eric Clapton & B.B. King, Dave Stewart and Keith Jarett to talented young musicians like Finn Andrews, Salvador Sobral, ARY and Leanne de Havas. Some of the singles reflect the time we’re living in, referring both to the Black Lives Matter movement and the pandemic.

Body of Light/Wide Winged Bird – Finn Andrews

Where We Wanne Be – Dadi Freyr

Where Do the Children Play? – Yousif/Cat Stevens

What Would You Do For Love? – Ulrikke

Wake Up Romeo – Caro Emerald

Tu mi delirio – Salvador Sobral & Alma Nuestra

Try Love – Dan Wilson

That Time This Time – VanWyck

Take It With Me – Vaarin

Summer Sun – Hooverphonic

Storm Came – Dave Stewart & Thomas Lindsay

Rollin’ and Tumblin’ – Eric Clapton & B.B. King

Playground Love – Thomas Dutronc & Youn Sun Nah

People – Ian Shaw Italian Quartet

Oh My God/Kakofoni – ARY

Mister Holland – Gregory Porter

Little Voice – Sara Bareilles

Learn to Fly – Surfaces & Elton John

Just the Two of Us – Rhiannon Giddens & Sxip Shirey

I Remember Everything – John Prine

I Feel You – Claudia Koval & Bill Cantos

God natt Oslo – Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra

A Ghost – Travis

Get Get On – Maya Fadeeva & Club des Belugas

From Paris With Love – Melody Gardot

For My Love – Saint Saviour

Bittersweet& Can’t Fight – Lianne La Havas

Answer Me – Keith Jarett

2020 Riots: How Many Times – Trey Songz

2020 – Ben Folds

On a Threshold of a Dream
The Moody Blues

The Moody Blues were way too suave for 12-year-old me in 1969, but as I grew a bit older I discovered them through this particular album. It was my first encounter with a concept album, where one track segued into the next and formed a whole. I found the album a bit eerie, with a mysterious opening, including poet reading, but I came to love many of the songs, like Dear Diary and Lazy Day in particular. And it changed my perception of what pop music was about.





Best of Contemporary

It might be true that most of the music in my monthly lists point backwards, focusing on contemporary artists who are inspired by music of the 60s, 70s and 80s. You will find that kind of music in my June-list, but there is also great music from contemporaries whose inspiration – if any – is much more recent, like Lauv, Neon Ion and Perfume Genius.

When I have the time, I listen to BBC2’s Top 20 lists on Saturdays from earlier decades, and it hits me every time how much of the music still lives on 30, 40, 50 years later – and how little of the music from the 90s and 2000s  enjoys the same fate. Hopefully, my list helps to give hope that even today artists write and perform enduring music. It’s just that so much of it drowns in a sea of mediocrity.

How to listen:

Petter’s Short List contains excerpts of the albums and singles reviewed in the current blog entry. Click here.

But you can also listen to Petter’s Long List, which contains all music reviewed this far in 2020. Click here.

And – by clicking on the album covers in the blog, you will be taken directly to that particular album in full

Marthe Wang

Marthe Wang, singing in her native Norwegian, offers a new album of personal songs, her emotive voice meets the ear first, then all the other instruments follow.  I would hope that her lovely melodies also please listeners who cannot relate to the well-crafted lyrics.

Heart Echoes
Neon Ion

Another aspiring Norwegian artist, Natalie Sandtorv, performing as Neon Ion, is out with a truly international album, very contemporary sound, an album that deserves to be played and listened to.

-how I’m feeling

Staying in the contemporary sphere of the spectrum, here is the first solo album from an etablished songwriter Lauv – if you can be established at 26. -how I’m feeling is an ambitious album, 21 tracks, and surprisingly varied, while keeping within the limits of Top 40 music.

Looking for Stars

Looking for Stars was released in 2018, but has won new relevance this year, as the group was supposed to represent Belgium in ESC. We all know how that went, but the group had in my view one of the best and well-crafted entries (together with Bulgaria’s Victoria, who is also represented in the singles list). Hooverphonic has existed for decades and plays broad pop/rock music with heavy orchestration and brilliant singers.

The Personal Gallery
Ketil Bjørnstad & Guro Kleven Hagen

Pianist and composer Ketil Bjørnstad has invited violinist Guro Kleven Hagen to a unique partership. If you thought that last classical romantic piece was composed before 1900, listen to this delightful album of contemporary compositions.

The Magnetic Fields

I have to admit I soon grew tired of Stephin Merrit’s little jokes, some as short as 12 seconds, only a few of them giving any kind of aesthetic experience to the listener. But the pure originality of the album, the sarcasm in the lyrics and the funny titles, still make it worthwhile to have a listen. Most reviewers are over the moon, so….

Lola Young

I am considerably more attuned to Renaissance, the new EP from Lola Young. Her first album was out just a couple of months ago, so this young incredibly talented singer/songerwriter is in a good place musically now. It is still beyond me that she isn’t what the musical press writes about these days, because this is fresh, naughty, so well formulated, and absolutely unique. She ought to be a superstar already.

Set My Heart On Fire Immediately
Perfume Genius

One album the musical press does write about these days, is Mike Hadreas’ (aka Perfume Genius) fifth alibum, Set My Heart on Fire Immediately. I can to a certain extent relate to that, because the album’s sophistication, the nakedness of the lyrics and the beauty of many of the melodies, make it so worthwhile to listen to it. But music reviewers are a pack of wolves, so make up your own mind.

Songs for Our Daughter
Laura Marling

In my view, by far the best album from Laura Marling. The songs are directed toward an imaginary daughter, but the collection still doesn’t have the feel of a concept album. Marling’s voice brings back memories of Suzanne Vega, Joni Mitchell and other great singer/songwriter voices. Lovely, all the way.

A Steady Drip Drip Drip

How do we feel about Sparks? This slightly ADHD, neo-operatic universe of theirs that hasn’t changed an iota since last century.  As with Magnetic Fields, it is a bit too much taking it in in one go, but A Steady Drip Drip Drip offers a handful of interesting and enjoyable songs to be metabolized when you’re in the mood.

The Women Who Raised Me
Kandace Springs

Soul-Jazz pianist and singer Kandace Springs has annoyed jazz aficionados for years for not sticking to jazz purity, but I expect they will be more happy with her now with the release of The Women Who Raised Me. I am, on the other hand, not that happy with every choice she makes on this tribute album, but I have picked versions of classics that for me adds new value to old standards. And I won’t stand in the way of letting her leave the beaten track even more, for all it’s worth (not much, I guess).

The Stranger
Billy Joel

I saw Billy Joel in concert in 1980 in the U.S., and it is still among the most exhilarating concerts I have attended. But then, I was a great and dedicated Joel fan, and still is. I knew most songs by heart, and most songs came from this album, his greatest commercial success, and his most sold non-compilation album, selling 10 million and still going. If there is a problem with the album, it is just that; it is too successful, there are virtually no little-known songs on it. Still, The Stranger brings back good times and feelings of being young. At least for me.



Look at the list of artists comprising the singles list this month! In most cases these releases are teasers of more to come, so pick your favourites and look forward to coming months. I will follow release dates closely.

1,2 Miss You – Blanche

Boys – Linda Schöne

Exist for Love – AURORA

Give it to You – Julia Michaels

Gotta Be Patient – Michael Bublé & Barenaked Ladies & Sofia Reyes

I Don´t Want to Talk About It – Albin Lee Meldau

I Got Nothin’ – Dion & Van Morrison & Joe Louis Walker

I Wanna Know – VICTORIA

I Wanna Write You a Symphony – Bleu

Laurie – Tim Burgess

A Nosse Voz – Mariza

NY Man – A Girl Called Eddy

Please Don’t Disappear – And Then Came Fall

Reach Out I’ll Be There – Jonathan Wilson

The Real Question – Dan Wilson

Rise – Ships Have Sailed

Stay Away – Randy Newman

Strange Effect – Unloved & Raven Violet

when i look at you – Rosie Carney

The World is Ending – Brent Cobb


The Beatles from Toronto

In 1976, a band called Klaatu released the album 3:47 EST, and soon a rumour started spreading around the musical world that the equivalent of the return of Jesus for Christians was actually happening in music: The Beatles had reunited and had released an album in all secrecy. The evidence was all there: the Beatles sound, Ringo’s drumming, George’s guitars, Lennon and McCartney’s harmonizing, and an album without photos and names of band members. I was one of the many that managed to get hold of the album, and for a short while I was a disciple of the idea of The Beatles resurrection. Of course, it was all nonsense, Klaatu was a trio from Toronto that was taken completely by surprise by the suggestions that they were indeed someone else. They weren’t, but in retrospect it must be said that it was easy to suspect that some or all members of The Beatles could have been involved in make 3:47 EST. It is a decent album that I have come to love, and listening to it again 44 years later, I realize it deserves a listen-through on its own merit. So – this is Classic Album of the Month. Listen and judge for yourself.

But I have also taken on the annual task of listening through the 40+ Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) entries and made a selection for you of the songs that I personally think has some merit. My pick for winner is Belgium and the song Release Me, but I will never know if Europe agrees with me, since this year’s final is, as you all know, cancelled because of the corona crisis. I have also added songs from Sweden, Italy, Iceland, Poland, Lithuania, Norway and Bulgaria. I’ll spare you the rest.

Here are this month’s details:

How to listen:

Petter’s Short List contains excerpts of the albums and singles reviewed in the current blog entry. Click here.

But you can also listen to Petter’s Long List, which contains all music reviewed in 2020. Click here.

And – by clicking on the album covers in the blog, you will be taken directly to that particular album in full


After Hours
The Weeknd

Maybe a surprising choice to include in my list, but I am impressed by the synthpop album by Canadian artist The Weeknd. It is surprisingly varied and experimental – in a good way, proving again that reaching superstardom doesn’t necessaryly make you a mediocre musician.

Are You In Love?
Basia Bulat

Now Magazine sums it up: «…exuberant folk-pop songs delivered with clarity, colour and conviction.» I introduced Basia Bulat to you as far back as 2013. She was good then;  she is as equally good now.

June It’s Gonna Happen

Rumer, the most silky-voiced chanteuse since Karen Carpenter, has released a new silky-voiced EP.

Half Empty
The Little Hands of Asphalt

The weirdest band name, I know, and it doesn’t even belong to a band. Sjur Lyseid (yes, it is an equally weird name if you’re not Norwegian) writes and performs sweet and well-crafted indie pop songs.

Happy Hour on the Floor

Another indie band, Parsonsfield, started out as quite an orthodox folk band. You wouldn’t khave known if I hadn’t told you, for Happy Hour on the Floor is cheerful and almost danceable.

I am not a Dog on a Chain

Unlike Parsonsfield, you would never call Morrissey cheery unless it was to annoy him. Not that you’d succeed. Morrissey is annoyed with the world and the people in it already.  Still, he writes songs worth listening to. He continues to be a voice of difference.

If You’re Dreaming
Anna Burch

Anna Burch’s second solo album offers sincere, sometimes a bit introvert, pop songs, performed with strength and stripped down to the essential.

Yael Naim

If Anne Burch wasn’t fragile enough, listen to French-Israeli singer  Yael Naim’s new album. It is hard to strip down more without moving into a cappella land, but don’t let that frighten you off. This is oh so beautiful and moving.

Rock Bottom Symphony
Pokey LaFarge

Pokey LaFarge loves the past, and dives into many old-fashioned musical genres on this amazing new album. Don’t let the title scare you off, Rock Bottom Symphony, reaches for the sky, not for the underground.

Saint Cloud

The Guardian has already proclaimed this album to be the best of the year. I think that is a bit early, but no doubt it is a riveting experience listening to Katie Crutchfield’s mesmerizing voice performing songs with a World music feel to them.

Shuffle and Go
Fairport Convention

Fairport Convention has with Shuffle and Go released 29 studio albums, so if you enjoy this one, which I am confident you do if you like folk rock, you can spend the next month or so listening to their back catalogue. And enjoy an early summer. Because to me there is summer in every track, happy, harmonious, flowering.As promised in the intro, here are 8 ESC songs that you might survive listening to.

Attention – Ulrikke – NORWAY

Empires – Alicja – POLAND

Fai Rumore – Diodato – ITALY

Move – The Mamas – SWEDEN


Release Me – Hooverphonic – BELGIUM

Tears Getting Sober – VICTORIA – BULGARIA


…And some great previews of we might expect will be equally great albums later in the year.

Big Black Train – Lucinda Williams

Birmingham – Jordan Moyes

Fade Into You – Whitehorse

Fences – Blanche

Green Is the Colour – Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets

Hold On/How Deep is Your Love – Nerina Pallot

Lay It On Me Bavy – Nick Lowe

No Better Magic LONDON – Katie & Zurab Melua

Oh, What a World – Earth Day Edition – Kacey Musgraves

Perrong – Silje Nergaard

Should We – And Then Came Fall

Slow Your Attention – delush

Thank You – Gregory Porter

Tu me Acostumbraste – Salvador Sobral & Alma Nuestra

We Can Hide Out – Mozambo Remix – Ofenbach & Portugal. The Man

3:47 EST

No more said – except that this is the original album copied straight off to Spotify as it was released 44 years ago, not re-mixed. So, you might have to turn up your speaker at times.



The Nearness of You

We tend to sing about what we miss the most. Although Kristallen, Nils Landgren & Jan Lundgren’s album, was recorded long before the corona pandemic hit us (and The Nearness of you was composed  even further back, in 1938, by Hoagy Carmichael and Ned Washington), it has a greater resonance than before, now that we have to stay apart from most of our loved ones for the undeterminable future. Besides being one of the most beautiful ballads every written, in my opinion,

But music brings us together even if we’re not. Hopefully my picks for this month will cheer you up a little bit, also knowing that you are not alone in listening to the playlist. Thanks so much to those of you who give me feedback and spread the word about the playlist. This is a list for those of us who want diversity when listening to music. This month I introduce you to the frailest of jazz voices at the same time as rock’n’roll and the best of Top 40. I know you can take it.

This month I have had the pleasure of re-listening to Paul Simon’s first solo album. It brings back more than memories, it takes me back to where my musical taste developed, how I was taught by Paul Simon  that there is more to life than songs with three chords. I remember I bought the sheet music to the album, and worked my way through some of the most complicated but oh so beautiful chords on the piano. I learned so much about constructing lyrics, what sounds fit together, about rhythm in words and rhythm in music.

Here are this month’s details:

How to listen:

Petter’s Short List contains excerpts of the albums and singles reviewed in the current blog entry. Click here.

But you can also listen to Petter’s Long List, which contains all music reviewed in 2020. Click here.

And – by clicking on the album covers in the blog, you will be taken directly to that particular album in full


American Standard
James Taylor

I am not saying this isn’t a good album – but it could have been a whole lot better! James Taylor with the velvety voice could have picked any songs he liked, but he made a number of peculiar choices when putting together the album. If you’re curious, listen to the whole album, if not, enjoy the picks I have made. They are vintage Taylor.

Countless Branches
Bill Fay

Bill Fay quit the music business in the 1970s and became a park keeper and a fish packer for decades. He was brought back from obscurity in 2012, and his former album, Who’s the Sender, I picked for you a couple of years back. This is the tenderest of the tender, just Fay’s fragile voice, a few instruments, and his lament about how fragile humanity is. As much an album for today as any released recently.

Dixie Blur
Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan Wilson has reintroduced the genre Soft rock to me, similar to Fleetwood Mac and Pink Floyd did in the 80s. Dixie Blur is a brilliant new album, a sophisticated dish of old soft rock music, but also heavily influenced by contemporary Americana.

Endless Dream
Peter Bjorn and John

Swedes have a special knack for pop music, we know this much. The trio Peter Bjorn and Paul proves the point. You listened to their single Music in March; here is the full album, straightforward pop, uncomplicated and enjoyable. Nothing more, nothing less.

Silent Fires & Karoline Wallace

Meditative jazz is next, and yes, the vocalist is my daughter Karoline. Silent Fires introduces the music of Alessandro Sgobbio, very fragile and spiritual, and it coats your ears.

Harvest Time
Charlotte dos Santos

I have introduced Charlotte dos Santos to you before as well, she is a family friend. And an emerging brilliant singer and composer. Her new EP, Harvest Time has, as Forests by Silent Fires, a spirituality at its core, with personal songs about break-up and loss, but also about ways forward. A bit more challenging than her former album, Cleo, but give it some time.

In This Town YOu’re Owned
Robert Vincent

I have followed Robert Vincent since he debuted in 2013, so many of you are familiar with his coarse voice and mild Americana. On his new album he broadens the field, flirts with gospel and rock, but his sense of melody is always there, rich and hummable.

Nils Landgren & Jan Lundgren

Trombonist and vocalist Nils Landgren meets pianist Jan Lundgren, and beautiful music follows. Kristallen is a remarkable album in its simplicity. As with James Taylor, one wonders why some of the songs were chosen, but most of this album makes perfect sense.


if whispering and electropop are your things, you will love this album. For the rest of you, there is enough to enjoy on this album from the London-based Spanish duo, because this is definitely a cut above other similar albums.

Lots of interesting new singles out, perhaps the most significant of all is Bob Dylan’s Murder Most Foul, his first new song since 2012. And is it a single? It lasts for quarter of an hour, but both the lyrics about the murder of John F Kennedy (and much, much more) and the music make it worthwhile to spend that amount of time on Bob’s latest.

At a Light – Teddy Thompson

Brighter Dawn – Laura Mvula

Chandelier – Damien Rice

Changes Coming – Kate York

Corduroy Jacket – Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards

Domino – Nicole Atkins

Good as Hell – Lizzo

Heavy – Charlie More & Duncan Birkbeck

If the World was Ending – JP Saxe & Julia Michaels

Into the Unknown – AURORA

Light – Michael Kiwanuka

Mojave – Sarah Peacock

Murder Most Foul – Bob Dylan

Not in Mephis – Amy LaVere

Peaceful Afternoon/Piece a Vivre – Rufus Wainwright

Plus Je T’embrasse – Thomas Detronc

Rock Pools – Saint Saviour & Willie Mason

Savannah – Andrew Gold

She – Yael Naim

She Persisted – Gina Chavez

Stupid Love – Lady Gaga

Superfan – Dan Wilson

Zelda – Isah

Paul Simon
Paul Simon

I couldn’t add the whole album, it would throw the whole monthly list off-balance. But if you haven’t heard the full album before, do it now. Pop music   – any kind of music for that matter – doesn’t come much better than this.





On Shoulders of Giants

Some of you might say it is a sign of utter creative draught that contemporary artists look to the past for musical inspiration and that so much of new releases are covers, remixes and, yes, copies of previously released music. There might be some truth in that, but lets’s be open to another interpretation:  that some of today’s musicians add another layer to pieces we know so well and that they bring the world of music forward – by looking back.

I am protecting you against some of the worst examples of “inspired” music – sadly there’s a lot about – but in the March list you will find in my view interesting takes on everything from old shanties and Sinatra classics to Beach Boys and Disney hits with completely new melodies.  

And to make sure you are reminded of whose shoulders today’s artists are standing on, I have added one of the best albums of all time as this month’s classic album, the inimitable Abbey Road by The Beatles. I have also added Sinead O’Connors own remix of Nothing Compares to U, written by Prince, on the 30th anniversary of its release. Pop music doesn’t get much better than that.

How to listen:

Petter’s Short List contains excerpts of the albums and singles reviewed in the current blog entry. Click here.

But you can also listen to Petter’s Long List, which contains all music reviewed in 2020. Click here.

And – by clicking on the album covers in the blog, you will be taken directly to that particular album in full


After the Fire After the Rain
Lost Brothers

This Irish duo (who are not brothers by the way) keeps on releasing some of the most inspired folk around. There is so much of tranquil Ireland in here, that it feels absurd to label this Americana, but you know what I mean. There is softness, sadness, beauty in every track. Perfect prescription against a racing heart.

Son Little

Prince is dead, but he has not resurrected as Son Little. I think Son Little would have liked that, though.  Supposedly he lost all his demos when his hard drive crashed, and he recorded all this in 8 days to get over the loss and remember as much as possible. Which explains the roughness and the lack of polish – which also happens to be the allure of the album.

The Bare Romantic pt 2

This is Norwegian indie band highasakite’s second EP release in just a few months, with a number of great tracks with their unmistakable sound, broadbrushed, bordering on the pompeous (which never hurt Queen on little bit), and very catchy.

Dreamers Do
Kat Edmonson

Queen of Vintage Pop, Kat Edmonson, has made an entertaining and interesting concept album, performing old Disney classics and jazz standards (mostly) in a novel way.

The Family Songbook
Haden Triplets

Yes, they are indeed triplets, and yes, it is the family songbook that inspired this album. As with Lost Brothers, the three daughters of jazz legend Charlie Haden perfect singing in perfect harmony. It is less swing and joy than with the 50s Andrew Sisters, but equally harmonious.

Half Moon Light
The Lone Bellow

«Half Moon Light is enough to comfort and reassure even on the darkest night of the soul. Let this evocative album be your friend and lift your spirit through to the morning.»  Highway Queens review. Enough said.

Pet Shop Boys

If you really long for time to stand still, this is the album for you. Nothing has really changed since Pet Shop Boys rose to prominence in the 1980s. A bit of a guilty pleasure for me, I don’t like it but I like it.

Lola Young

I don’t own a crystal ball, but if I did I would see Lola Young in it. I introduced this amazing talent last month with «Six Feet Under», and now the whole Intro album is out (excuse the pun). Imagine being 18 and churn out amazing lyrics and great songs like this…  Listening to Intro makes me think of Amy Winehouse, and more recently, Billie Eilish. Except Lola Young is very much her own. (I don’t think her name is, though).

The Last Bohemians
McAlmont & Webb

Another surprise retro album is The Last Bohemians by David McAlmont and Alex Webb, interpreting both Beatles, Queen and other pop greats in a jazzy fashion. Not everything serves as tributes to the originals, but the album pleases more than it displeases.

Storm Damage
Ben Watt

Storm Damage is an album by a man in his late 50s, musing on his life, lost love, changing surroundings, and mortality. By some incredible sleight of hand, he’s managed to make that unpalatable dish, delicious. Pop Matters review (Ben Watt was previously half of duo Everything But the Girl)


It is unintentional, but this is the fourth duo in this month’s entry. Tennis is sometimes bubblegum, sometimes catchy high quality pop. Few duos sing and write about marital life as much as they do, which makes them kind of interesting.

Steve Harley

One of my true musical heroes, Steve Harley, is back with an un-Cockney-Rebel- release, mostly covering old favourites, including his own Compared with You. He has mellowed, but there is the occasional sting from the old days in his voice.


Lots of great new releases – and a giant re-release.

Besame Mucho – Edna Vazquez & Pink Martini

Bristlecone Pine – Rumer & Lost Hollow

Empire – Blanche

Ergens In Mijn Hoofd – Linde Schöne

God Only Knows – Lily Moore

Heartbreaker Please – Teddy Thompson

Let’s Go – Laura Gibson & Dave Depper

Music – Peter Bjorn and John

My Lotus Flower – Finn Andrews

New York, New York – Daisy Dash

Nothing Compares to U – Sinead O’Connor

No Time to Die – Billie Eilish

Now, Winter Comes – cabane & Kate Stables

Oh, Girl – Jonathan Wilson

Why You Gotta Do It – Willie J Healey

Abbey Road
The Beatles

This album, in my humble opinion, is among the most awesome compositions in all of musical history. To think that it received mixed reviews makes one doubt the whole music journalism business. I have picked some of the rarer played tracks, which also happen to be the best, again in my humble opinion. I’d better stop before I declare «Oh Darling» the best rock vocal performance of all time.  There. I’ve stopped.

Lost and Found

Thank you for feedback and questions following last month’s blog entry. I promised to listen to reason, and I have. SO a few small changes this month:

I have added more than one track from the classic album and more than two tracks from the albums of the month. Everything else remains the same. Hope everybody is happy now. If not, write me.

Which means I will continue to divide the blog into three: Albums, Singles/EPs and one classic album from the 60s, 70s or 80s.

In the playlist there will be samples from all albums, all the singles, and samples from the classic album. In the blog entry below there will be links to all recommended albums. Just click on the album cover.

The songs I presented in the last blog entry has been moved here. As I renew the list, I will put all previous tracks here, so don’t worry. They are still around for your listening pleasure.

So here we go with the February choice cuts.

Been Around
A Girl Called Eddy

Soul-pop from artist who has been away since early 2000s. Which might explain the sunglasses. She has used the time well, Been Around is a perfect evening listening album.

Echo in the Canyon
Jakob Dylan & Misc Artists

Echo in the Canyon is a 2018 film about Laurel Canyon area of L.A. birthplace of a lot of the music your propbably love from the 60s, including Beach Boys, The Byrds, Mamas and the Papas etc. Songs from the era are recreated by Jokob Dylan and a menagerie of famous artists.

Eilen Jewell

Eilen Jewell is at heart a country artist, but she expands the term more than nearly any other country artist, while still staying true to the roots. She has quite a back catalogue on offer, so if you like what you hear, delve in.

Hundre dager
Ine Hoem

Norwegian Artist Ine Hoem’s first Norwegian-language album, very personal stories told about upbringing, first love. She has gotten a lot of credit for the lyrics, but the music is lovely in its simplicity as well.

Harry Nilsson
Losst and Founnd

One of my favourite artists of the 1970s and 1980s, Harry Nilsson, did not release any new music between the early 80s and his death at 52 in 1994. Until now (well, he didn’t, but you get my drift). He recorded these songs in 1992, and producer Mark Hudson has now finished Harry’s work. A brilliant, cohesive album filled to the brim with Nilsson gems.

Mare Nostrum
Paolu Fresu, Richard Galliano and Jan Lundgren

Put three of the greatest jazz musicians together and don’t be surprised if they create beautiful music together. It is almost inevitable. Mare Nostrum III (yes, there are two previous albums) calms nerves and pleases the heart.

Modern Johnny Sings Songs in the Age of Vibe
Theo Katzman

In some manner a concept album about the love of 60s to 80s music, but also a great collection from multi-instrumentalist Theo Katzman, proving that the heritage he tells stories about lives on.

Semper Eadem

Sometimes I want to climb up on a chair in a crowd a scream: «What is wrong with you? Don’t you recognize greatness if it stares you in the face!!??»   Mimmi, a Norwegian artist with Senegalese roots, has got some great reviews but no real fame for her two albums, but she deserves to be recognized at a totally different level. She – and her music – is in a class of its own. Listen to Semper Eadem and I am sure you’ll agree.

Walking Like We Do
The Big Moon

The Big Moon make me believe that not all pop music need to be pushed through the Max Martin meat grinder. Walking Like We Do comes with harmonies and happy, funky, energetic music that takes you on a journey you don’t really know where ends, and with lyrics that a smart and personal.

Some great new releases, hopefully many of the will soon be found on albums. Watch this space.

6 Feet Under – Lola Young

All Babies Must Cry – Sxip Shirey & Rhiannon Giddons

Be Still My Heart (Accoustic version) – Silje Nergaard

Venezuela/Chelsea Burns – Keren Ann & Dayna Kurtz

Røde spenn/Er for alltid from Et lite stykke Norge – Amanda Delara

Don’t let me win – delush

An Echo – Samantha Crain

How to Forgive – Tennis

How Will I Know – Yael Naim

If You Think This is Real Life/The Keeper – Blossoms

Klangfall – Joep Beving

neve give up – Son Little

Pray for Me – Kristin Husøy

Revival – Gregory Porter

Teach Me Tonight – James Taylor

Walking in the Air – AURORA

You Don’t Want to Hear It – Ron Sexsmith

Alladin Sane
David Bowie

I can still recall receiving the package from a British mail order store, opening up the cover of Alladin Sane, putting the LP on the turntable and realizing my musical taste was altered for good. To think that music could be so varied, so beautiful and noisy and rhythmic and unpredictable, all at the same time and on one album. I wanted (and tried to) play the piano like Mike Garson, and Mick Ronson’s guitar solos sent shiverings down my back. Still do.   In my mind, David Bowie’s best.