Album Review :
Lórien - The Ghost in the Parlor

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Artist: Lórien
Album: The Ghost in the Parlor
Label: None (released independently)
Release Date: Fall 2006
Review by: Eric Pettersson

1. Praise the Stage and Love Only the Saved
2. You Got Me Down
3. A Dove amongst the Crows
4. Empty Words
5. Singing Isn’t Music
6. Shallow End

Lórien? Is that European?… hmm, a quick Google search and, oh no. No, it’s something from J.R.R. Tolkien. Of course. Maybe this was their name’s inspiration, maybe not. Either way, hopefully this record isn’t quite as drawn-out action adventure as those films were. Actually, Lothlórien is the name of a forest from his book, Legendarium, or so goes my internet findings. So hopefully these tunes will remind me more of a forest than of Uruk-hai shouting “Find the Halflings!”

Well, I can’t really say it exactly reminds me of a forest, so I’ll abandon that thought from here on out, but it definitely isn’t full of thoughts of elves surfing on top of elephants and shooting arrows at random creatures, nor does it leave me feeling exhausted after three hours and wondering when this guy is gonna get off that volcano so I can leave the theater, so that I must say is a good thing for Lórien. So what does it remind me of? Let me describe it for you, as was my job all along. Most times, there are electric guitars with a mild amount of crunch and spurts of soulful riffs, smooth vocal melodies, and catchy choruses (“You Got Me Down,” “Empty Words”).  Yet other points are full of acoustic guitars and strings, while maintaining the overall feel, especially the smooth vocals clearly written by a man who appreciates harmony. Hand claps, picked strings, unusual background vocals, and well-planned tempo changes create “Singing Isn’t Music,” a three minute work of genius.

I’ll spare you the rest of the details for fear of spoiling the plot, but to return to my film idea, if this recording were a movie, I would leave the theater satisfied, and I would not wish to leave before the end. Actually, I’d probably sneak under the seats and watch it all over again. No, actually, probably not, but it’s a fun idea, right? Well, I’d at least hit repeat on the CD player.


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