Thank You For Giving Me Your Valuable Time – THE OTHER PAPER. (Review)

The Other Paper. REVIEW

Kaada – Thank You For Giving Me Your Valuable Time

3 Mar 2003

 

It’s a shame that the term „post-rock‰ already picked up its cultural coinage in the early Œ90s because we really could use it again. There‚s a whole strata of popular bands like the Flaming Lips, Radiohead and the Beta Band, that have seemingly cycled through guitar rock to a more studio-based art rock sound.

 

New kid on the block Kaada is on the same wavelength.

 

John Erik Kaada is something of an underground darling in his native Norway. Veteran of acts like the Buzz Aldrin Band and Cloroform, Kaada struck out on his own to notable success, garnering a Spellemannsprisen (pronounced Norwegian Grammy) nomination for his work.

 

His critically-acclaimed 2001 release Thank You For Giving Me Your Valuable Time somehow slipped past NATO radar stations to receive a proper stateside release.

 

The album is an addictively catchy cut and paste pastiche of, well, almost everything. Kaada effortlessly blends elements of doo-wop, show tunes, jungle rhythms and frenetic horn samples into a mesmerizing and frequently creepy pop maelstrom.

Where equally talented, similar artists like Cornelius or Optiganally Yours are quick to self-consciously reference kitsch or pop culture irony, Kaada appears to play the comfortable outsider card, creating the most polite plunderphonic work to date.

 

According to Kaada, the album is inspired by an illusion of a previous era, combining elements of the past 50 or so years of popular music.

 

The end effect is intriguing and fascinatingly jarring. The album frequently finds itself in Twin Peaks territory. Tracks like “Care” and “Burden” share David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti’s appreciation of doo-wop vocalists and Phil Spector wall of sound production. What would be corny coming from an American act is somehow acceptable thanks to Kaada’s Norwegian passport.

 

The high point of the album is the sublimely catchy yet morose No You Don’t, easily the most maudlin and creepy pop gem in some time. Kaada combines the smoky, driving bassline of the moodier Faith No More moments with everything from Kurt Weill to Massive Attack, wailing please don’t ever leave me in his haunting, otherworldly voice – a rich, throaty falsetto with a mere hint of accent.

 

Obviously this sort of trans-generational culture clash isn’t up everyone’s alley, but Kaada managed to make an album fascinating enough to capture my jaded attention and familiar enough to play for my mom.

 

– Rick Allen

Columbus, Ohio

USA