Classy. Stylish, elegant, with a dose of a retro-vibe. Yet not arrogant. This is how Maggie Björklund‘s new album “Shaken” sounds like to me. Who is she? – you might ask. She’s one of the stunning musicians from Jack White’s live band. But as you can hear on her new record, she’s much more than just a musician from another artist’s band. She definitely has her own voice and sound.
“Shaken”, released on 29. September 2014, is a follow up to Maggie Björklund’s debut solo album “Coming Home” from 2010 (with a great title song featuring Mark Lanegan). The new piece isn’t easy to take, but if you focus on it and give it a go more than once, I’m sure you will fall into it – as I did. After the first listen I thought “is it me or is it boring?”, but the third listen came and ended up with “…” – with me being speechless.
… and feeling a bit stupid too. Because maybe my perception of music is a bit too shallow to appreciate Maggie Björklund‘s compositions from the very beginning. But there’s no shame in admitting own flaws and wanting to learn to fix them, right? “Shaken” is a great lesson of how a good conceptual album should sound like. It’s also a great example of mature songwriting.
With the opening song “Dark Side of the Heart” and “Fro Fro Heart” (feat. Kurt Wagner of Lambchop), Maggie Björklund becomes a female Leonard Cohen to me when it comes to the adult look on music and lyrics. The heavy guitar sounds in “The Unlucky” somehow make me think of Nick Cave and the twisted vibe of the instrumental “The Road to Samarkand” of how perfect this album would be for a movie soundtrack.
“Imagine, if you will, Ansel Adams being the cinematographer on David Lynch’s re-make of “Annie Get Your Gun”. This could and should be the soundtrack.” (nodepression.com)
If you have some spare minutes this Autumn, give “Shaken” a listen and dive into it. It’s worth it.