Jorn - 'Symphonic'

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Jorn - 'Symphonic'

Jorn Lande returns with a new solo album, albeit a solo album with a twist.

Having once again waved a perfunctory goodbye to the good ship Masterplan, the start of 2013 sees Norwegian vocal powerhouse Jorn Lande return with a new solo album, albeit a solo album with a twist … sorry folks, bit of a Denise Royle moment there!

Although not really a new studio album per sé, as the ‘Symphonic’ title suggests this is a selected list of old Jorn favourites reworked and revamped and then diligently retrofitted with a classical orchestral arrangement. Now, given the amount of melodrama that Jorn and his band usually tend to pour into their work anyway you could almost be forgiven for asking “what’s the point?”, and to a certain extent I guess I’d have to agree with you. However, once you actually listen to the finished product I’m sure you’ll concur that, in most cases at least, there’s an extra dynamic at play that does indeed enhance the original recordings – kinda Jorn meets Royal Hunt if you like.

In all cases the orchestral arrangements were added to the original studio versions, but some of those were then remixed to achieve the right balance of light and shade in Jorn’s revised vision. Steering clear of most of the more obvious song choices, the fourteen tracks presented here are actually still fairly representative of the whole Jorn experience, running as they do the whole gamut of emotions from elation to despair and back again.

Opening up with ‘I Came To Rock’ was actually a very astute move – not only does it lend itself willingly to this kind of treatment, it sets up the mood and dynamic for the whole album that follows. Not really too much to add in terms of what’s been said before about the original recordings, but cloaked in a mantle of enhanced grandiosity the likes of ‘Time To Be King’, the haunting ‘Behind The Clown’ and ‘Man Of The Dark’ reveal interesting new facets that were never so readily apparent first time round. The only track I probably wouldn’t have messed with was ‘Rock And Roll Children’ – no problem with Jorn’s initial interpretation, but this version just doesn’t measure up to the immortal Dio original.

That one small personal gripe aside however, I actually quite like what’s been done here (although I’m equally sure that some won’t) … but it certainly makes me wonder if the lessons learned will be taken on board for the next Jorn studio album proper!

Dave Cockett

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