Only 21 months have passed since Entakt released their debut album Træerne Vokser Ind I Himlen, so I was a bit surprised when I learned that the band was aiming for a sophomore release this October. Now October is here and so is the band’s new album På Bagsiden Af Europa (released today). So time to answer some of those questions, I’ve been asking myself, ever since I learned about the new release. Would it be possible for the band to match the debut, which I ranked as the second best release of 2007? Or would the band fail to resist the temptation to re-record a few tracks from the fine demo albums published in 2003 and 2005? Yes and no. The new album easily hold its own against the debut and consists of entirely new or previously unreleased material.
Musically the band has taken a few steps back in time as they sound a lot more like the genuine 2005 edition of themselves than they did on the somewhat Kent/Muse inspired debut.
I was a bit surprised how the debut turned out to be an instantly likeable affair, whereas På Bagsiden Af Europa seems to be a lot tighter and just like the early demos requires harder work getting into. But to me this often means that an album will have much better chance standing the test of time and will become more and more interesting the more I listen. And now that I’ve passed the first 20 listens that theory is more valid than ever as the album continues to unfold itself with its lovely tunes, fine production and unmatched lyrical universe. Just to rule out any misunderstandings, I still think highly of the debut, but in the rear view mirror its strength (to me) was those 4 standout tracks that I kept getting back to.
Not that the new release has any shortage of excellent songs. As a whole I actually believe PBAE outnumbers TVIIH, but the Kashmir inspired Mandagens Vægt and the pulsing Europa aside, there aren’t really any obvious “hit singles”, which could help selling the album and thus pave the way for a commercial success. Especially the album’s finer moments like Japansk Løn and the overwhelming album closer 3 Alen Fra Skafottet are far to challenging and complicated to appeal to the average radio listener.
So you might say that I’m wearing those pessimistic spectacles and projecting that the album will do very little to change the way Entakt is embraced by the general audience. And you’re probably right. If superb singles like Fyrværkeri and Kunsten At Slippe Taget couldn’t promote the debut or get any serious airplay, I’m afraid I have to hold on to that pessimistic attitude.
But that doesn’t change that right now I’m enjoying every single moment I’m spending with the album and that honorable but worn-out “album of the year” label has already begun gluing itself to this excellent sophomore effort.