The Forester, by Susanna and Ensemble neoN

If Tori Amos wanted to sound more like Bjork, but ended up listening to, and therefore becoming influenced by a lot of Broadway music, she might sound something like Susanna Wallumrød (formerly of Susanna and The Magical Orchestra). The Forester features Susanna—as she is known in the music world—on piano and vocals, performing what is accurately described as “chamber folk music,” with the Ensemble neoN, whose instrumentation includes theorbo (a Baroque instrument resembling a guitar, or lute), cello, violin, alto sax, clarinet and bass clarinet, flute and alto flute, and percussion—though a minimal amount of percussion only—with Magnus Loddgard conducting. Aside from song length (the opening title track is 15 minutes long, nearly half the album), there isn’t much variety from track to track. Though “Oh, I Am Stuck” sounds especially Broadwayesque, in a Susanna sort of way.

(Originally appeared in the Valley Advocate.)

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