by amy – November 2, 2014 in Music
This nineth studio album by Ulver shows them experimenting once again, this time with 60’s psychedelic rock. Childhood’s End: Lost and Found From The Age of Aquarius is an hour-long collection of 16 cover songs by obscure psychedelic rock groups from England and the United States. Before hearing this album I was unfamiliar with the original groups except for Jefferson Airplane, of which Ulver has done a brilliant cover of Today – arguably the best song on the album.
On the cover is a famous photo that came out of the Vietnam War. What significance this photo bears in regards to the album is not clear to me. The photo poignantly conveys the devastating effect of war, but seems to have little in common with the actual subject matter of the songs. My guess is that it’s an homage to the memory of the 60’s, perhaps carrying with it a note of melancholy or nostalgia.
Garm’s voice shines exceptionally on this release. He embraces the chorus-oriented rock style of the genre with its light mood and sometimes playful lyrics. In doing this he casts aside the brooding shroud of mystery and profundity that has often characterized Ulver’s music. It’s appealing to hear him adopt the attitude and charisma of a rock singer comfortable with the stage. There is even some seductive hip-shaking on numbers like 66-5-4-3-2-1. It makes me smile to hear Garm singing, “If ever you need me, baby, there’s a number that you can call, it’s double 6, 5-4-3-2-1, yeah I’ll be there and I’ll be on my own, ’cause I know what you want.” Many of the songs are a sweet, short length of 2-3 minutes long, which makes me more compelled to throw the album on any time of the day. As another review aptly described it, this album is sunny and infectious. read more