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Even Johansen | Quiet and Still
If solo albums are a by-word for a stripped down, renewed sincerity, or a revisiting of musical roots, then Quiet and Still, the solo debut from Norway's Even Johansen- which steers away from the pop of Libido into more laid-back territory- indicated that his heart lies less with the oft-cited icons of power pop and more with those equally worn out acoustic figureheads. Take your pick. For the most part a mellow endeavour, Johansen's voice manages to be both weary and assured, and Quiet and Still ends up as another record meant for those placid hours before dawn. On the lovely, troubling lullaby of the title track he sighs out the lyrics to a minimal accompaniment of acoustic guitar and tambourine, while Where Happiness Lives pairs him with brushed snare paradiddles and a soaring slide guitar. Although these songs of drug wipe outs and distant loves seem voiced directly out of the lexicon of rock and roll clich├ęs, Johansen's warm, moody tones and easy, unhurried songs ensure that Q&S hits the mark at least some of the time with its smoky minor-key laments.

Martin Williams
CWAS #8 - Summer 2001