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Articles Home » 2013 Articles » Theander Expression, The - 2013 Strange Nostalgia
Theander Expression, The - 2013 Strange Nostalgia

ARTIST: Theander Expression, The
ALBUM: Strange Nostalgia
LABEL: Avenue Of Allies
YEAR: 2013


LINEUP: Andrée Theander - guitars * Christian Hedgren, Goran Edman - lead vocals * Michael Ottosson - keyboards * Linus Abrahamson - bass * Herman Furin - drums, percussion * Peter Gardemar - violin, viola * Ylva Nilsson - cello * Philip Magnusson, Elin Kesson, Goran Edman, Andre Theander - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Conception Of Life * 02 Strange Nostalgia * 03 Insanity Cell * 04 Like A Chameleon * 05 Sanguine * 06 Feelings Of Luxury * 07 Mr. Know-It-All * 08 Masterpiece In The Dark * 09 Meet Me There Tonight * 10 Champagne Wishes And Caviar Dreams


Well we all saw the video preview over a number of weeks here at GDAZE. And that was the YouTube clip of Andrée Theander giving us some insight into the forthcoming 'Strange Nostalgia' album. That clip was great for fans of pure AOR and west coast, Theander's guitar soloing off the scale. Without doubt, this album became the most anticipated arrival during mid 2013. But has the wait been worth it? I'm not so sure now, after having listened to it. I actually really dig this style, but there's also a feeling on my part that the wow-factor is not consistently there. Combining the harder style of late 90's era Street Talk with the recent west-coast leaning Sonic Station, The Theander Expression (TTE) have picked on some excellent reference points to be judged by. Andrée is a talented musician, and has spent time doing his musical apprenticeship both in Sweden and the USA.

The Songs
TTE drive it hard from the beginning, 'Conception Of Life'. This is a fluid rocker in the vein of Street Talk, the verse and chorus structures should make it easy for all regular readers to familiarise with.

The title track 'Strange Nostalgia' is blessed with a strong chorus (including that keyboard melody) plus some fantastic six-string work from Andrée on the solo spot.

'Insanity Cell' is typical classic Swedish AOR/west coast. Honestly, what is there not to like about this track? There's a lyric that is kinda interesting on the bridge 'my impression now is the external world's fucked up'. I guess this fits in with the flow of the song which as you tell by the songtitle suggests the world is indeed a bit of an insanity cell. Syria anyone?

There's an acoustic overwash to 'Like A Chameleon' that befits the class of Goran Edman's vocals. Andrée's solo is soulful and not a million miles from Sonic Station's Alexander Kronbrink.

'Sanguine' is a return to the faster-styled Street Talk sound, the main riff which Andrée uses is very very cool.

'Feelings Of Luxury' is the most laid-back affair on the album, a late night caffeine brew extravangaza, which requires the pre-requisite chocolates to go with it (you know, late night coffee isn't supposed to be good for you.. how about a sherry or a port?).

The songtitle 'Masterpiece In The Dark' sounds a bit silly doesn't it? The music however isn't! A Toto like excursion with Swedish attributes applied is what you'll get with this one. Christian Hedgren gives as good as he gets musically.

'Meet Me There Tonight' is expansive stuff, wide-eyed vista landscapes, sweeping orchestration with violin, viola and cello all joining in.

Completing the picture is 'Champagne Wishes And Caviar Dreams', which is more on the west-coast side of the fence, though Theander jumps in with some flashy guitar.

In Summary
Scandinavia just keeps getting better and better as the years pass, and The Theander Expression can only add to the already rich array of talent in the far north. I can't get enough of it to be honest, and soon we'll have The Magnificent with their second, along with Sonic Station! Bring it on! I'll not give The Theander Expression a total pass mark, but I'm sure many of you will be interested to check it out because the style/genre fits perfectly here.

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#1 | gdazegod on September 09 2013 14:11:02
YouTube Video:
#2 | englandashes on November 08 2013 21:42:47
This album has been growing on me over the last couple of weeks, I wonder if the album was written with Goran singing all the songs, but have to say that Christian Hedgren is a excellent. Impressed with the songwriting and lyrics, and the best of all is Insanity Cell, is this a first, a song about OCD?, very accomplished way of highlighting this issue. Congratulations Mr Theander, definitely made an impression.
#3 | windsofmarch on November 13 2013 11:37:49
40% Work Of Art, 30% Last Autumn's Dream, 10% Europe, 20% State Cow/Croastland Ride/ Croosfade. Great album.
#4 | george_the_jack on November 19 2013 23:35:42
This is the closest thing to Work Of Art that I have heard and it's excellent stuff all the way! A full 9/10 from me or even slightly above this, reaching 9.5.

I know where you're coming from George when you seem a bit disappointed with this. You might have expected something spectacular or massively awesome but apparently didn't get what you wanted by this release. Well, I get it and I can safely say this is one of the albums that need repeat listens to be appreciated in full.

''Insanity Cell'' and ''Masterpiece in the dark'' are my particular highlights, being 2 songs that showcase the loneliness and the feeling of desolation that a musician or an artistic soul face. I'm sure this album was made by Andree for Andree himself and not for any other reason such as gaining popularity or fame. This is from soul to soul and for whoever else would happen to appreciate these values.

This is awesomely crafted rock music that if I had to raise the bar in one aspect, it would be production. I would have loved a more polished ''perfect'' result for classy westcoast stuff like the one Andree has to offer. Great!
#5 | gdazegod on November 20 2013 00:37:57
I did play it quite a bit before and after reviewing it. For me, something is slightly missing. Not a lot.. but still. And yes, the WoA comparison is a good one.
#6 | jeffrey343 on September 18 2014 04:28:50
This is a good album, but I can't get into it quite as much as Work Of Art or the new Sonic Station and State Of Salazar albums. Part of it is that I clearly prefer the vocals of Hedgren, and another part is that the subject matter goes beyond the typical relationship songs. I think I'm in pretty good agreement with the review.
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