Exposé Online banner

Haakon Ellingsen — Bounty
(POP57, 2005, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-01-01

Bounty Cover artMany many years ago (in issue #12 to be precise) we reviewed a wonderful and heavily Beatles influenced psychedelic pop album titled Kindergarten by Norwegian trio The Last James. Haakon Ellingsen was one of two primary composers in that band, and though a lot of time and other musical experiences have transpired in the years since, his latest album Bounty in many ways picks up where that previous endeavor left off. It's definitely a more solo oriented work, with somewhat less dense instrumental structure, but the compositional spirit and arrangements are every bit as brilliant and playful, fusing elements of pop, psych, and folk with strong classical sensibilities. Ellingsen handles lead vocals, guitars, keyboards and mandolin, joined by six other musicians covering additional keyboards and guitars, sax, flute, drums, bass, and prominently featured cello. Ketil Vestrum Einarsen handles those cello arrangements, the woodwinds, keys and harmony vocals. Once again, the result is an absolutely wondrous and magical mix of great songs and lyrics, with subtle hooks at every turn. With inspiration to spare, nothing here is derivative. The only questionable inclusion comes at the very end with "Music Man," a track that was recorded in 1978 — perhaps his earliest recording ever (and certainly recorded under primitive conditions); it's an interesting bit, but closes this otherwise perfect disc in an odd way. Still, I give Bounty nine thumbs up and recommend finding a copy quick, before this one goes out of print too.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 35, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Haakon Ellingsen

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Cast - Laguna de Volcanes – After thirty or forty albums sung in English, Cast here present a set of their best tunes with the vocals redone in Spanish. OK, I'm exaggerating – they only have nine studio albums and two...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues