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Articles Home » 2009 Articles » Nilsen, Age Sten - 2009 Glamunition
Nilsen, Age Sten - 2009 Glamunition

ARTIST: Nilsen, Age Sten
ALBUM: Glamunition
LABEL: Universal
SERIAL: 602517975989
YEAR: 2009


LINEUP: Age Sten Nilson - vocals * Tommy Berre - guitars and bass * Atle Rakvdg, Rino Johannessen - bass * Ole Tom Torjussen, Ole Petter Hansen - drums * Jon Willy Rydningen - keyboards * Kee Marcello, Dan Reed, Ronni Le Tekro - special guests

TRACK LISTING: 01 Not Let Gonna Stop Till I Let It * 02 No Cigar * 03 Bring The Night On * 04 Vainette * 05 Brave * 06 Where The Good Times Grow * 07 Touch Of The Untouchable * 08 Count On Me * 09 Two Friends And A Bottle Of Wine * 10 Don't * 11 Unconditional Love



So, what are you left with when you take the 'guitars' out of Wig Wam and the 'glam' out of Mr Nilsen? Well a wonderful pop album called 'Glamunition that's what! Ok the guitars are not extinct from this second solo album by the vocalist of the Norwegian euro fighters but they are not at the forefront. Don't worry they are not really missed as this album contains lots of ammunition to get your attention. Unlike the 6 foot (whatever!) tall vocalist this album was released early in 2009 quite unnoticed. Especially for me that is, as it seems to have the same amount of coverage as the second voyage of the Titanic. So what's up with the record label? unsure who the potential buyers are? even ashamed? Well I think they have certainly missed a trick because this is a highly listenable album that really sheds the mighty Glam, in a different light. Seriously this can only go to enhancing his career as a great song writer and performer. It's obvious that alot of care and thought has been taken to put this package together, to the inclusion of some high profile musicians, Kee Marcello for one, to the highly colourful booklet.

The Songs
Age is not worried to bring in some many added touches, for instance the use of horns on many of the songs, particularly the opener 'Not Gonna Stop Till I Let It'. I for one am not that keen on brass sections, unless it's done by Chicago, but my view has been changed and they provide an important factor to why this album succeeds. It's a happy sounding album, lots of pop inflicted melodies, in fact a lighter version of The Darkness, when you catch 'No Cigar'. Let's add a 70's vintage feel to the pot, which can be heard on 'Bring The Night On', which has Bee Gees harmonies blessed with some europop, please check the video out.

One of my favourites is 'Vainette' where Mika can be heard with a dash of Queen (Age has been known to perform in Queen tribute concerts, so no surprise really) and the eccentricities of the excellent Big Money. The clever chorus appeals to me, with the professional choreographed harmony vocals, which would get my vote in any dancing competition.

The Wig Wam front man certainly has the knack of writing some catchy tunes and is not afraid to mix things up with a couple of slow numbers. If you take a closer look you appreciate the beautiful ballad opening of 'Brave', a short number that adds violins to pull at the strings of Jellyfish and The Beatles. Its here and especially with 'Don't' that you hear the amazing vocal performance of Age. 'Don't' is by far the holy grail of the songs on offer. It must be the most mature song written and recorded by him. A ballad that is exceptional, a strange combination of House Of Shakira and Elaine Page (err, yeah, that is strange.. Ed). This is just waiting for a wider recognition or appreciation by a larger audience.

The string arrangements continue in the opening of 'Where The Good Times Grow', which is similar in refinement to Angie Aparo, plus to a lesser extent the pop feel of The Rasmus, (I see that Desmond Child was assisting on their 2008 album, 'Black Roses'). This is another example of how good this album is, as this tune has some sparkling moments and delicate touches, and even my pet hate of children's choir doesn't spoil it. He even manages to rope in Dan Reed.

Maybe the next couple give an impression of a middle order collapse, as 'Touch Of The Untouchables' I find abit unconvincing. I feel this is due to the motown sound in the chorus which stretches my musical tastes just a bit too far. A touch more favourable is 'Count On Me' which has the feeling of Kiss and Poison with the execution of George Michael (I don't mean that literally, I like old George!). It manages to mix the horn section, with some meaty guitars and some scary effects, which I find most welcoming.

A little bit of fun is injected by the old favourite, 'Two Friends And A Bottle Of Wine', well not that old, but it also appears on the 2008 TNT release, 'Atlantis' and not surprisingly sees Ronni Le Tekro joining proceedings. It's one of those songs, you either like of find a bit irritating, I'm in a good mood today, and so it's OK, although this version is more Tom Jones, which is a bit of a worry.

'Unconditional Love' is a pleasant way to finish, which would help Robbie Williams regain his popularity, unless of course your name is Terry Thomas!

In Summary
I rate this album very highly, while I am a big fan of Wig Wam, I am more interested in his other solo recordings, in fact in 2000 he released his first solo album under the moniker of G-Sten, which was subsequently re-issued in 2006, under the title 'Wolf & Butterfly'. His current release is very much a pop album with a rock garnish, so as such quite a brave attempt by Age. As I only picked this at the tail end of 2009 it didn't figure in my top 10, in hindsight I feel it has enough quality and distinctive tunes to sneak in the bottom half. If you still remain unconvinced then a stress again, search out and take a listen to 'Vainette' and 'Don't'.

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#1 | george_the_jack on February 07 2010 16:15:33
Don't know why but when I saw this review, I was certain that Chris had made it! Overall pretty decent modern pop/rock performed by a really exceptional voice! 'Wolf and butterfly' is even better IMHO.
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