Sondre Lerche loses his edge on “Please”

Sondre Lerche abandons his unique sound and opts for a decidedly darker tone in, “Please.”

Allison Winters, Writer

Few people would admit to keeping tabs on Norwegian pop singers these days. It is pretty understandable considering, you know, it is Norway. However, there exists one notable blip on the radar worth paying attention to — Sondre Lerche, the Nordic pop star you think you do not know but actually probably do.

Ever seen “Dan in Real Life?” Ever paid any attention to the swanky crooner in the background? Brought onto the set to write original songs and covers for the soundtrack, Sondre Lerche’s cafe-pop tunes started gaining popularity with the film’s release but then drifted back into indie obscurity after a year or so. He has cropped back up on the radar with his new album, the decidedly darker and more sensory “Please.”

“Please” is a break-up album, which makes this next statement a little extra painful to write — it’s rather disappointing. Lerche has had such a unique sound and style in his past albums that he seems to all but abandon with “Please”. The first two tracks on the album, “Bad Law” and “Crickets” sound like Justin Timberlake ripoffs with a Nordic twist while songs further down the track list come close to Lerche’s signature style, such as “Sentimentalist” and “Lucky Guy,” but fail to stand out as his next hits.

“Please” is the response to his recent divorce, but Lerche seems exceptionally conservative with his emotional investment in the album. One of the few moments where listeners may pick up on his heartache is in the third and most catchy track, “Legends,” where he laments the fact that he and his ex-wife have given up on what could have been a great future together. He sings, “Why?/Now we’ll never know what legends we could be/Just dumba** you and dumba** me,” and listeners get one of the first tastes of the pain and frustration Lerche experienced during the end of this relationship.

Overall, “Please” falls flat as Lerche’s small but good reputation in the music world precedes him. With a major change-up in sound and style and a seeming lack of sentiments, the Norwegian pop star’s newest album fails to stir up an emotional response and may not be the best album for soothing listeners’ own broken hearts.


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