Röyksopp - Profound Mysteries Music Album Reviews

Röyksopp - Profound Mysteries Music Album Reviews
Eight years after bidding farewell to the traditional album format, the Norwegian duo returns with a sprawling multimedia project whose best material feels, ironically, like a return to form.

For more than two decades, the Norwegian electronic duo Röyksopp made their mark on svelte electro pop and sprawling, atmospheric soundscapes alike, with recognizably clean production guaranteed along the way. After five albums, Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland grew weary of the grind, and they billed 2014’s The Inevitable End as a “goodbye to the traditional album format.” If the sendoff seemed vague, that was the point; the duo didn’t really retire, instead opting to plumb their archives for their Lost Tapes series and turn to film and theater collaborations. In the interim, nevertheless, Röyksopp created an entire new album’s worth of material. “Let’s just say that we have to go back on a promise we made in the past,” they conceded in a post to fans this past January.

The resulting Profound Mysteries is both an album and a multimedia project, including a cryptic website and 10 videos that attempt to expand on the album’s larger theme, which grapples with the unknowability of the universe. Created in collaboration with the film production company Bacon, all of the clips (dubbed “artifacts”) are surreal and oblique; however pivotal to the project they are meant to be, they’re hardly necessary viewing. The actual songs vary from sleepy piano interludes to moody, charging electro pop. The back-and-forth doesn’t always work, but Röyksopp still land on some of their most energizing floor-fillers to date.

They have recruited an inspired roster of guest artists, availing themselves of Alison Goldfrapp’s hypnotic soprano and Susanne Sundfør’s folky croon. The singers’ lightweight voices give the project a welcome unifying thread, as though each is gently stepping in to bolster the duo’s barreling electronics. On the brooding “Impossible,” Goldfrapp murmurs about rolling thunder and a world on fire over a gummy synth reminiscent of Daft Punk; the song is a solid reminder that Goldfrapp remains a quietly powerful force who can control a dance song with little more than a breathy sigh. The seven-minute highlight “This Time… This Place” takes a harder approach, opening with breakneck techno before paring back into a sturdy, clean beat for singer Beki Mari. By the time it hits the six-minute mark, the song devolves into a swirl of Mari’s voice, dreamy synth lines, and a shuffling drum beat, evoking the gauzy, after-hours feeling of watching the sun rise over the dancefloor after a late night out.

When the musicians decompress with midtempo, instrumental tracks, the buzzing, high-octane effect of the other songs dissipates. Both “(Nothing But) Ashes” and “There, Beyond the Trees” are guided by sedate piano and synth melodies that are detached rather than affecting. On “The Ladder,” Röyksopp fare slightly better, unspooling a loose, space-age synth line over pattering drums to create a light stroll through the kind of gentle synth pop that the pair have all but mastered at this point.

The best songs on Profound Mysteries operate within those comfort zones, making it more of a return to form than even The Inevitable End, but Röyksopp still trip themselves up. While the album's euphoric, ascendant melodies gesture toward otherworldly grandeur, the drifting instrumentals and forgettable, abstract lyrics keep them from quite scaling those heights. But then, trying to capture a subject as hefty as the mysteries of the universe is bound to be an unwieldy pursuit.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Röyksopp - Profound Mysteries Music Album Reviews Röyksopp - Profound Mysteries Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Tuesday, May 10, 2022 Rating: 5

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