On ‘Leisure Suit Preben’, Terje’s knack for making the greatest sounding on-hold music in history reaches it’s summit. The cartoony soundscapes, the beaming melodies and the samba-driven rhythmic section embody what it sounds like when the clock strikes ‘Album Time’. Keep it classy, but let loose.
With a portion of the LP made up from previous releases, ‘It’s Album Time’ is far from an introductory full-length. 2012’s cosmic-disco magnum opus ‘Inspector Norse’ is rocketed in to round the record off. It’s the finale to an album of extraterrestrial party soundtracks from a universe far more fluorescent than our own. The breathy vocal clowning that opens up ‘Svensk Saas’ paves the way for a chirpy vocoder-heavy outing where the beats grow more and more infectious. Terje manages to turn the human voice in to something of a banana skin. You slip, he helps you, you run after him.
‘Strandbar’ and ‘Delorean Dynamite’ both have razor-sharp hooks that bounce across the synths like overexcited children. As ‘Delorean Dynamite’ bows out in a lull of synths that sound uncharacteristically lost, ‘Johnny and Mary’ lands and Bryan Ferry’s vocal contribution allows Terje to create a ballad for a generation who thought they knew better. Finishing line drum sounds scatter across the 1980s melody and construct an album highlight. It’s a song that tugs on the heartstrings in a very classical kind of way. Terje’s innate ability to make something supremely human out of synthesised materials comes to the forefront on ‘Johnny and Mary’.
We’re then brought back in front of the major motion picture for the detective-romp skylarking of ‘Alfonso Muskedunder’. This marks the beginning of the end of ‘It’s Album Time’ but Todd continues to triumph as the harlequin host of the disco of the new millennium. When we are reintroduced to ‘Inspector Norse’ for the record’s final 7 minutes, the leftover blinis and piña coladas are soaked up before home time. The bubbly synths fizz out before leaving nothing but the sound of an adoring crowd longing for more. It’s easy to take the title of the record and Terje’s elaborate aesthetic as the be all and end all of ‘Album Time’. What might seem like a polychromatic blowout of hooks and beats is in fact a truly enduring listen. By injecting such a tangible sense of carefree humanity in to time honoured disco blueprints, Terje has transcended his mother-genres and moved the clocks forward in a totally brilliant fashion.
Words: Duncan Harrison