wears the trousers magazine

marit bergman: the tear collector (2009)
May 19, 2009, 9:30 am
Filed under: album, review, video | Tags: , , , , ,


Marit Bergman
The Tear Collector •••½

Chances are that you hadn’t heard of Marit Bergman until her guest appearance on the new Kleerup single (or even until now, reading this review), but The Tear Collector is actually her fourth album. Firmly established in Sweden, where she has topped the long-player charts twice and established herself among some more internationally renowned friends including Jens Lekman and Frida Hyvönen. The Tear Collector continues Bergman’s trademark sound of dreamy, folky, sometimes grandiose, often bittersweet, high-calibre pop, a quality that seems almost timeless across the different stylings of the album’s 14 song artillery. Almost by definition, pop music reflects its time or seeks to evoke a different era; The Tear Collector sets a context of its own.

The album opens with the title track, an instrumental that pits glockenspiels spookily and tunefully plinking away against an orchestral backdrop, introducing the classic instrumentation that continues throughout, giving the songs a clean and clear quality. The sound is almost always full, with string and wind sections providing warm backing, dotted with icy piano and flourishes of harp. Bergman’s voice is pure, strong and unfussy and, as such, complements the music perfectly. This is most apparent on ‘Snow On 10th May’, a wistful ditty about late falling snow that sounds as fresh and quizzical as the experience might actually have been. 

But it’s not all glacial Scandinavian slowies – there’s plenty of pop sass here. ‘Bang Bang’ is full of pouting, swaggering attitude, building up to punchy, jazzy climaxes and a finger-wagging singalong chorus. Lead single ‘Out On The Piers’, released as an iTunes EP last year, is a soaring and exhilarating ode to wild one night stands, though the chorus of “we’ll be out on the piers / up on the roofs tonight” may not be the most apt description for that teenage feeling. Lyrically, Bergman’s songs paint moments, scenes and characters in vivid detail. Her words have an element of naivety about them and, while the phrasing sometimes jars, this is mostly charming though the potential to irritate remains if you listen too closely.

Frida Hyvönen’s appearance on album closer ‘Travelling Companion’ creates a rousing, pensive finale fit for a Broadway musical, with her distinctive, elegant vocals lending the song a real sense of grandeur. This is a true duet in that it sounds like a genuine converging of the pair’s musical styles – Hyvönen’s quirky melancholic genius and Bergman’s panache for a poppy showtune. It’s a winning combination and a fine ending to a fine album.

Robbie de Santos
Available on import only; www.myspace.com/maritbergman 


‘Out On The Piers’


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

great review, I like the album also. Think I read somewere that Out on the piers actually is about gay sex and the hook up culture on chelsea piers in new york

Comment by ollie

[…] Marit Bergman – The Tear Collector [Robbie de Santos 19/5] 22 Little Boots – Hands [Daniel Clatworthy 8/6] 23 The Lovely Eggs – […]

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