Review : The Deer Tracks - The Archer Trilogy Pt. 2
PopmattersThe second part of any proposed trilogy is a bit of a tough nut to crack. If you look at a film like The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, it’s hard to really get a handle on it critically as it is the middle chapter—something without a bonafide start or an ending. Middle parts have a tough time standing on their own as an entity in and of themselves for that very reason. Which brings us to The Archer Trilogy Pt. 2 from Swedish pop duo the Deer Tracks, which is not only a follow-up to the first instalment – released in March 2011 – it’s an actual full-length record, which is a bit odd considering that the first part was an EP in length. (Pt. 3 is slated to follow as yet another EP, probably relegating it to epilogue status). There’s a really cynical part of me that’s starting to wonder about this approach: why not release the whole kit ‘n caboodle as a double LP? You know, a unified artistic statement that you can sit and digest in one (long) sitting?
Well, as I go back and revisit the first EP issued in the series by the Deer Tracks, which is comprised of musicians David Lehnberg and Elin Lindfors, there seems to be a bit of sense in the decision that’s been made. The Archer Trilogy Pt. 1 was aptly suited to being released right at the tail end of winter: it was tiny, fragile and ornate, the kind of thing that played well with a chill in the air and white frosting on the ground. Pt. 2, on the other hand, is similarly suited to summer in some ways. The DNA or blueprint of the Deer Tracks’ sound hasn’t really been modified in the largest respect, but the album has a bouncy, and yet slightly darker (but only just), feel to it, the sort of thing that you can take outside on a summer’s evening and toss a beach ball around to....full text
BowlegsmusicYou can’t argue with The Deer Tracks when they describe their recording process: “If you lock yourself up in a cabin in the woods, things start to happen. You’ll start to find your way back to your inner core, back to life”.
It’s true, the Swedish duo indeed possess a certain purity in their electronic pop – it can feel almost disconnected from everyday life. And when they back it up with a beautiful melody or memorable hook it forms a glacial beauty which just can’t be created by electronic machinery alone.
Unfortunately the songs on the second part of their ‘Archer Trilogy’ are hit and miss, too disjointed, and at times, as on ‘Fra Ro Raa Ro Ra Fraa’, become a walk on part in the world of throwaway, chart-hungry pop.
The duo, that is David Lehnberg and Elin Lindfors, seem torn between the experimental and aspirations to reach for the stratosphere of epic popness. Take ‘Fa Fire’ – opening with an ethereal roll of electronic, it goes supernova into a widescreen dance number, yet holds little worth underneath the over-sized production....full text
AllmusicFollowing shortly after the entertaining, and at points surprising, first part of the three-release sequence, The Archer Trilogy, Pt. 2 finds the duo of David Lehnberg and Elin Lindfors continuing their general approach of delicate songwriting, sometimes explosive twists in the electronic arrangements, and flashes of unsettling imagery. It says something that the guitar in "Meant to Be" is used less as riff than as sampled, twisted shading, as one element among many; it's a common enough approach, but here, coupled with Lindfors' singing, swirling keyboards and the now familiar romantic string parts, it takes on a stronger life. If there's a slight change here, though, it's that there's a little less variety than on the first part, making this entry seem almost like the pop album installation full on: restrained and exploratory in parts, but otherwise going for it with a sweet propulsive gusto. Title aside, "Fra Ro Raa Ro Ra Fraa" has a chorus that aims right for four-to-the-floor immediacy, albeit filtered via the Sainte Etienne indie pop vein, while "Tiger" goes for a full-on triumphalism in the chorus. "Dark Passenger," with its stuttering beats and moaning backing vocals, brings out some moody undercurrents, but there's still something sweetly inviting rather than disturbing at work here, especially when -- like in many of their other songs -- the opening first settles into a steadier groove and then morphs into a shimmering, exultant new verse with orchestration building upon everything else. Musically, at least. Vocally, there's always a calm little distance shading the delivery of otherwise blunt lines like "I cannot help it, sometimes I want to break your neck/Just to give you a reality check," stuttered into a sweeping, soaring chorus on "Fa-Fire."...full text
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