King Midas: Rosso
King Midas: Rosso – King Midas is a well-known Norwegian band that commits themselves to constant evolution and actually follows through on that. Listening to King Midas in the late ’90s is completely different from listening to their latest albums, Scandinavia and Rosso. In fact, though only a year apart, even the two most recent albums – released the same year – are spectacularly different. Where Scandinavia seems to follow in the footsteps of earlier albums like Warsawa, aiming to take you to a time and place and almost cinescopically engaging the listener, Rosso is a horse of a different color. The sound is so vivid that it almost engages all five of the senses, exploding from a 2D experience to one in 3D. Scandinavia was covered in a sheet of ice. It gave off cold, emotionless vibes while pulling you in with unique mixing and sound usage. Rosso, however, is warmer. Deeper. Sexier. It’s easily the most groovy album from the former rockers, for sure, and the self-proclaimed “modern blues” footnotes are fully deserved.
The album begins with the song ‘A Ship Glides through the Night’, which serves as a lengthy introduction to the collection. At almost seven minutes, the song is almost an overture because it covers so much ground and the vibe prepares you for all the songs to come. It’s delightfully lounge-y and seems to intimate to the listener that this is a grown up party for grown up people, only.
‘Colorsound’ is an interesting follow-up to the first song, immediately showing the dissonance even within this album. It’s more upbeat and relies mostly on the tensely restrained instrumental to drive the song, because the vocals are sadly lackluster. Funnily enough, ‘You Know My Name’ is next and it serves as a perfect marriage between all that was right in the first two songs. It has an intricate but coiled instrumental that deviates just enough, and the lyrics and vocals are inspired. The two sounds synthesize to produce one of the best songs on the album.
In fact, you think it might be the best song on the album… until you hear the song ‘Snow’. Smack-dab in the middle of the album lays this perfect piece of audio heaven. The best thing is also the subtlest – a touch of tambourine toward the end, just as the song is picking up steam – and it seals ‘Snow’ as the champion of the album.
Other nice notes in the collection come in the form of the instrumental tune ‘King’ and the nicely-paced ‘Cy’, which starts out by asking, “Are you a man of constant sorrow? Are you a man of constant pain?” If you answered yes to any of the above, then you obviously weren’t listening to this album – because there’s nothing “painful” about it! …9.0/10