Iceland. A country known for its electronic music but not necessarily music with a goth slant, so for a dark goth/synthpop release to come about from there comes as a little bit of a surprise, but a good one. Legend are duo Krummi Björgvinsson and Halldor Björnsson. Krummi providing vocals, and Halldor creating the frankly gorgeous synth sound. It’s easy to see that Krummi comes from a rock background as he has a powerful voice (he provides vocals for a band called Minus, who have similarities to Queens of the Stone Age) but one that is so flexible that it lends ‘Fearless’ such an interesting sound.
The first thing that struck me about ‘Fearless’ is that no two tracks are the same. Each track has its very own personality, and there are certainly a couple of bands that came to mind on my first listen through – Covenant and Project Pitchfork. This made me so happy it is hard to put into words. Goth clubbing became a bore to me not that long back when the lovely synthpop music that got me in to it in the first place got replaced with stompy 4/4 beats and lots of angry shouty men – I’ve got metal for big shouty, angry men thanks, goth stuff gave me the ability to enjoy pop music, and if Legend are bringing the rebirth of synthpop back in to the clubs then brilliant!!
On to the actual album though, the first track I heard was ‘Sister’ via the entirely strange video made for the Weird Girls Project. ‘Sister’ is probably one of the darkest tracks on ‘Fearless’ with lyrics looking in to sin and where it comes from, but regardless of the darkness of the lyrics, the synths and the rhythm just make it so danceable. Also for some reason Krummi’s vocal delivery sounds so much like Peter Gabriel. Like I said there are so many nods in different directions in each track that it’s hard to pick them apart, but exciting to hear all the different layers. ‘City’ is probably the most dancefloor friendly track. There is a filthy underbelly to the track that you can’t help but move to, and I’d be interested in seeing some remixes of this track. ‘Lust’ certainly lives up to its title, but it isn’t just pure filth as it has a fragility to the lyrics that you may not get in the first listen. There is a remix available at the end of the album for ‘Devil in Me’ but to be honest I don’t think it does much for the original track – it makes it sound like 80s disco funk, and I’m not sure about that approach.
Overall, I can certainly see why this album is getting so much praise – it is a near enough flawless synthpop album and anyone who can call themselves a fan of the genre really does need this album! It’s dark pop music that I can see having a wide appeal.
Addendum – The remix that I didn’t particularly like at the time of doing this review? Ended up absolutely loving it after a while 🙂