Exposé Online banner

Annbjørg Lien — Aliens Alive
(NorthSide NSD6068, 2002, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2003-08-01

Aliens Alive Cover artAnnbjørg Lien’s career has taken her from traditional Norwegian solo fiddling to 2000’s Baba Yaga, with its progressive and world music influences. On this live release, she and her band (a total of eight musicians, though all never appear on the same track) take us through that entire spectrum, and throw in a few goodies besides. She starts out the show with a lovely bit of solo fiddling called “The Rose,” putting us into a mellow and receptive mood (and reminding us of the traditions behind what she does), then proceeds to Baba Yaga’s “Loki” with keyboard man Bjørn Ole Rasch laying down a wash of synth chords for a flute melody before the familiar music starts. Next up is a fourteen minute suite called “Origins” which rearranges some of the parts of “Ája,” including the drone singing of Ailo Gaup, and adds some other parts, such as a great flute solo from Hans Fredrik Jacobsen. Rasch’s keyboards add an unexpected touch, often a cathedral organ sound (sort of like Wakeman without the continual arpeggios), but sometimes a classic Hammond touch, as in the title track, where he lays down an Emerson-style riff under some heavy percussion. Rasch also covers the low end in the absence of a bass player, and has a hand in arranging almost every track. Acoustic guitarist Roger Tallroth gets plenty of opportunities to shine, though not in a flashy up-front way; his support in arrangements and harmonies is integral to the sound of the band.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 27, 2002 releases

Related artist(s): Annbjørg Lien

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Kurt Reifler - Kurt Reifler – The first comparison that came to mind when I started on these tunes was Lenny Kravitz, though with more down-to-earth production and less self-important posing. There's also a hint of Living Colour,...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues