Martin Hagfors – Men and Flies

January 01, 1970

(Me Records)

www.martinhagfors.com

 

Norway’s
Martin Hagfors has produced quite a collection of albums in his native country,
but his pop perfect sound has the potential to garner much wider appeal. Like
Brian Wilson, Van Dyke Parks, and Sufjan Stevens, Hagfors is a musical
craftsman intent on creating fastidious, pristine soundscapes that are whittled
down to the finest detail. Songs like “Appetite,” “Scientist” and “I Need To Know”
are fey to a fault, a delicate and restrained combination of posturing, piano
and acoustic guitars. However, like his role models, Hagfors isn’t necessarily
one for restraint; strings, cello, brass, vibraphone, glockenspiel and
synthesizers create a shifting instrumental backdrop that swoops and soars with
orchestrated precision.

 

In many ways, Men And
Flies
is a throwback to an era when ornate arrangements were key components
in rock’s musical arsenal, particularly among bands like the Beach Boys, the Association
and the Left Banke, groups that were all unafraid to mine a multi-hued
palette.  Inevitably, that can lead to
charges of pomposity and pretension, but when applied with the taste and skill
Hagfors clearly holds at his disposal, it makes for immediate infatuation.

 

Standout
Tracks:
“Appetite,” “Scientist,” “I Need To Know” LEE ZIMMERMAN

 

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