Norwegian musician Kari Jahnsen (who records as Farao) is back with her second studio album Pure-O, offering euphoric synths and staggering moments of love. Three years after her debut album, Till It’s All Forgotten, Farao establishes a modern, experimental sound which is heavily inspired by Soviet disco.
In comparison to her previous album, Farao takes on a more alternative sound on Pure-O, although, the foundation that she set on her debut album can still be heard on the new project. Farao’s eagerness for desire, love, and to be loved on this album constructs a dualism in contrast to how the album is produced sonically, but it works in many of the tracks.
The opening track, ‘Marry Me’, entails the theme for most of this project. The track’s joyful, disco inspired sound calls for one to dance irresistibly, but this is met with Farao’s yearn to feel love as she opens the album saying, “The heart is the organ of desire/forget my mind, my talents, and my mighty pride/you’ll find me where I do not exist”. Farao’s soothing vocals seam effortlessly into the various instruments and drums on the project. On ‘Lula Loves You’, Farao professes her love for someone over the live drums that is mixed with a more translucent instrumentation.
The composition of synths and vocal effects on Pure-O can lead one to believe that the album has a vintage sound, and while it is indeed inspired by earlier compositions, the songs maintain a modern, often alternative feel to them. On ‘Luster of the Eye’, Farao switches up her vocal tones and range that translates into a contemporary R&B sound, mixed with her own synth-pop affination.
Farao might possibly be trying to find a new sound or identity with Pure-O, one that is inspired by her love from older music, one that is inspired by love and everything that that entails. For some, the tracks on this project may be hit or miss, but Farao has certainly put her foot into the alternative synth-pop genre. It’s a sound that can be developed into a brand new genre altogether, or it may just be something that was produced from a string of inspiration and search for identity.
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Farao: ‘Pure-O’ Album Review: Featured Image Credit: Western Vinyl