Kari Rueslåtten - Silence is the only Sound

Kari Rueslåtten Silence is the only Sound cover
Kari Rueslåtten
Silence is the only Sound
Spindelsinn Recordings / Ora Fonogram / Rough Trade
I love the fact that ever since Kari decided to return into action musically, balancing an academic career and a family life among other things, she’s been pretty prolific, with three albums all of high caliber in no more than four years and live performances while in the past she’s not been as prolific, not anywhere near that.
The entire album is a largely “smooth”, easy to listen affair, yet hugely rewarding. Despite the minimal nature of the music for the most part, it’s the immediately likable timbre of Kari, as well as her undeniable charisma in inflecting her voice effortlessly to emote to incredibly effect, while singing even the simplest lines that sets her apart from almost all her contemporaries.
“Believer” is a smooth but quite cheerful number, spiritual but also abound with love...
“Chasing Rivers” is a bittersweet urban number; bitter because the music is a little melancholic, but warm and sweet because of its theme.
“Spellbound” is an English adaptation of Kari’s older song “Spindelsinn” that she did on her Sony music debut, by the same name that keeps the music pretty close, while also managing to almost translate the lyrics, with very subtle changes and without changing the overall meaning, which is quite incredible… and what a beautiful song it still is…
“Gone” is a very dramatic number, with an urban feel and strings that almost has a cinematic quality about it and builds in the most amazing way.
“The Harbor” begins with a sample and guitars that have a bluesy almost “Dire Straits” ring about them and the unmistakable warmth of Kari’s voice telling another story…
“As Evening Falls” is a sad tale about the loss of a loved one, which manages to be very emotional, even if its orchestration is minimal and eclectic and Kari’s performance is not overtly dramatic. It’s exactly the calm, mute pain and metaphor that makes it even sadder than it is.
Savior” is minimal but beautiful and quite spiritual song (metaphorically) in which Kari does some pretty impressive crescendos during some reps of the chorus
“Music You Should Hear” is a love song that doesn’t quite reveal itself as such until the verse..; it’s also pretty ambient and quite minor… a lonely elegy and declaration of love.
“The Parting (Shine a Light)” has a jeered sample vibrating throughout, while Kari weaves a beautiful melody, but this time being reassuring of love in quite a cheerful way.
“Silence is the only Sound” is a probably one of the most minimal of songs on the album; yet it’s incredibly rich in soul and sentiment. It’s simply amazing what this woman can do with so simple orchestrations, barely with her voice…
Kari is one of the most impressive female vocalists and the definition of an artist, true to their art. It’s unthinkable to me that she’s so little known outside her native Norway and a small number of international fans, but… c’est la vie. C’mon Norway declare her a national, if not international treasure. She is.