Monday, August 8, 2016

MONROES-Long Way Home (1993)


.....And it feels good to be back home—that is, here at my cozy little place in cyberspace that I call "The Music Spectrum" after a few days of regrouping and recuperating. And it feels like home on a second account, because I spent part of those days of recuperation reconnecting with my easy-listening soft rock music, namely with this "Long Way Home" album, the final collection of recordings by the Norwegian pop duo called THE MONROES (who are not to be confused with the American band by the exact same name, although one can't help but to get the 80's hit "What Do The People Know?" all wrapped up in the head with the mere mention of 'MONROES' and 'music' in the same sentence). The only album of theirs in my collection is quite the 40+ minute delight and worth every minute and second of your uninterrupted attention, as you'll find immediate pleasure the moment the soothing piano accompaniment and orchestra overture of the opening track, "Just Another Normal Day", drifts into your ears, officially transporting you and your senses into the easy-listening zone. Though it's the distinctively European accent and tender voice of the duo's lead singer are what you will surely find most captivating, making the story of "Just Another Normal Day" and every offering thereafter into a charming affair. For me, it was so easy to get lost in the vocals and the perfectly pleasant pop production that recalling specific lyrics is a bit of a challenge. As such, I'm only readily able to recall the words to the chorus of my #1 favorite song, "The Sun Goes Up": 'the sun goes up, the sun goes down, money makes the world goes round'. The song just makes me feel happy every time I hear it, and I can attribute that also to the lovely melody as well. "Candyman" tells an interesting story; I've heard it a few times now and know that I really love it for the light guitar accompaniment and the hint of accordion in combination with the light piano in the background music here. Feels like you've been whisked back to the 80's for a spell tuning in to "It Must Be Love", a perky rock number with that distinctively 80's spirit where our Norwegian frontman proclaims ' she's a girl and I'm a man ' in the catchy chorus. There's some ear candy for me during the instrumental break midway with the shift to the dreamy Latin sound accented by the triumphant horns, then the short harmonica break before the music shifts back to the lively 80's rock kick. Here's even more ear candy: "Take Your Time", which I guarantee will be 4+ minutes of pop heaven—from the fun way the rhythm and the beat bounce along to the humorous, almost theatrical presentation of the song's delivery itself with the silly bits of dialogue quipped in the background. My #2 favorite surely has to be "Mad Man's World". It's another one where the song's lyrics and overall meaning somehow escaped me admist the wonderful production, particularly when the jazz break moved in midway to whisk away me and my senses. If this Norwegian duo hadn't indicated earlier that they have an excellent knack for delivering the touching, heart-warming musical masterpiece, you'll definitely realize it taking in the ear-pleasing title track, then later on the haunting piece, "In Hiding", and the concluding piano piece "Missing A Friend" which, determining from the words of waning to escape from loneliness and be with the one whom he sings about, is the most haunting place on this "Long Way Home" of all:

1. Just Another Normal Day
2. The Sun Goes Up
3. Candyman
4. It Must Be Love
5. The Long Way Home
6. Take Your Time
7. Helpless
8. Mad Man's World
9. In Hiding
10. Missing A Friend

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