Best of 2004: #11 -- Sondre Lerche Two-Way Monologue
Upon learning that Sondre Lerche had released an album this year, my first thought was that it shouldn't have taken 25 years for Clint Eastwood's '70s shack-up to finally parlay her role as Lynn Halsey-Taylor in the Philo Beddoe trilogy into a recording contract. But then I remembered two things: (1) There were only two movies in the "Right turn, Clyde!" series; and (2) Sondre Lerche is a fresh-faced Norwegian lad, not a Botox-faced Paternity plaintiff.
Improving upon the formula of whimsical introspection previously demonstrated by the likes of the underrated Ron Sexsmith, Lerche displays a relaxed confidence throughout Two-Way Monologue. He references this in "On the Tower" when he sings, "I'll throw a melody / That is as serious as it is simple." The songs here are upbeat, but not sunny; catchy, but not sugary. Lerche is intent on not watering down his music with lightweight subject matter, yet he is careful to avoid overanalyzing his lyrics. As he sings in "Stupid Memory," "Thinking about writing it down seems pretentious." Lerche just wants to get it done any which way he can.