Arts and Crafts
The Inevitable End
- Norwegian electro duo Röyksopp are to release their fifth and final album, The Inevitable End out this month. Made up of Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland the act’s album will also feature Jamie Irrepressible, Ryan James (Man Without Country), Norwegian singer songwriter Susanne Sundfør and Robyn. Despite the fact they have suggested this is their last album, a statement on Röyksopp’s website reveals it’s not the end for them in terms of making music; “We feel like this is a goodbye to the traditional album format. In our consecutive run of albums, we have been able to say what we want to say and do what we want to do with the LP. We’re not going to stop making music, but [for] the album format as such, this is the last thing from us… B+B”.
The second release in 6 months, The Inevitable End follows their mini album Do It Again made with pop superstar Robyn. This release has a darker subject matter, and is almost aggressive, whilst being personal and sincere at the same time. “Skulls” opens the album heavily before “Monument (T.I.E. Version)”, which features Robyn, and has the pulsing drive and energy that both acts bring to their work.
“Sordid Affair” is a softer track with airy vocals from Ryan James of Man Without Country, it blends and dissolve into the next track. “You Know I Have To Go” is equally soft and feels reflective and conclusive. It also features more vocals than is usual for Röyksopp, sung by Jamie Irrepressible; “you’ve given me your trust/cos I wanna give the honesty you need/nothing feels so dubious/I want us to be all that we can be/I want this for the two of us/I know I’ve got to go/there’s nothing more to say”. After a bit of a pause in comes “Save Me” which picks up the pace and features soaring vocals by former Björk backing singer Susanne Sundør.
“I Had This Thing” is filled with crunchy sound effects and a regular trance beat before “Rong” see Robyn come back to the fore again. The track, like a lot of the album is passionate and angry, Robyn repeats; “What the fuck is wrong is with you?” strings end it abruptly. All in all, the album has more lyrical content and seems to be influenced by their work with Robyn. On their site Rökysopp say “I think it’s fair to say that Do It Again and The Inevitable End are dwelling on the same themes” and expand; “Without being too gloomy or dark, there’s been turmoil in our lives. And prior to making Do It Again, Robyn was in a similar space, which is one of the reasons why we’re so compatible”.
And this works for Rökysopp who are keen never to repeat themselves. They have certainly created work for The Inevitable End which pushed their own creative boundaries and sees a huge leap sound-wise from their songs on first album Melody A.M. The aptly titled “Thank You” closes the album with dancing piano, synth melodies and auto-tuned vocals singing “Thank you, forever, for the things you’ve done”. And they do seem genuinely thankful, but also ready to move on.
Reviewed by Heather Welsh.