Ask This Guy for Directions
Anders Trentemøller has been making music for several years now, already with two other full-length albums and a slew of other works to his name. Throughout his career, he’s built himself a solid reputation among fans of the darker and more moody side of European electronic music. His latest album, Lost, proves what many have said before — Trentemøller is a highly versatile artist with a bottomless bag of tricks. He has never been accused of lacking range, and his songs can change their tone quicker than you can change your hat. As a result, Lost never becomes predictable, but it also makes it tough to shake the feeling that you’re listening to a mixtape.
“The Dream” opens the album on a soft note, with folky angelic choral singing accompanied by subdued bass and guitar, gradually adding more rhythmic elements. It’s very soothing and… well, dreamy, in a way that sounds and feels like a David Lynch score. Following this, Trentemøller doesn’t quite do a musical 180, but he definitely veers onto a different course. “Gravity” mixes more electronic elements into the pot, coming into a sound that verges on M83 or MGMT.
From here, Trentemøller goes into darker goth-club techno territory, often bouncing back into a shoegaze stance, like a weird love triangle between Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails and My Bloody Valentine. At some moments, including a pretty interesting track called “Morphine,” he dips into a more subtle, jazzy, atmospheric sound, utilizing muted tolling bells and jingling chains to drive the song forward. Later, he’ll explode into full on noise rock, and if you pay attention you might even hear a stilted Erik Satie-inspired piano ballad.
You never quite know what to expect with Lost, and at times it’s hard to believe you’re not listening to multiple bands. Trentemøller brings in numerous collaborators on this album, like members of The Raveonettes and Ghost Society and with each of them he explores widely divergent styles. In a strangely appropriate way, Trentemøller seems to get lost in this record. With so many influences and points of view, it becomes an epic album that doesn’t quite pull itself together.
There’s something admirable about an album that is highly creative and worked to the bone–Lost in a nutshell. Trentemøller leaves no stone unturned here, and you can’t fault him for that.