`Sounds In English` is the solo debut album from Uppsala, Sweden’s Richard Öhrn, best known as the guitarist and one of the songwriters for indie pop band In Deed.
The album opens with the delightful `Seal Your Move` with a twelve string guitar and Mellotron flute lines that transport you back to the American West Coast of the mid to late sixties and bands such as Strawberry Alarm Clock. Richard`s voice has a warm and lush melodic hue as a tapped tambourine keeps pace on this mesmerising retro trip. We have a further melodic folk tinged composition with `5th Month Announcement` that ambles along dreamily.
`Time’s Not Running Out` is a breezier and faster paced submission with some quite captivating harmonies while `The Coolest Manners` evokes an almost Beatles like introspective vibe at times. This track also has some superb piano tinges and a charming, shredded guitar solo in the latter section before ending abruptly.
`Someone To Forgive You` brought to mind a mix match of the Hollies meet Love on this nigh on nostalgic piece. There`s a strange percussive beat with piano tones underpinning `Love And Friendship` which is a kind of gentle meditative ballad. The addition of a string arrangement midway through really added something different to this alluring number.
I read that Elvis Costello was the inspiration for `Take This Bottle` which does share some of MacManus’s acerbic wit and melodic sensibility. There`s a much more melancholic texture to `Every Shade` which kind of stutters into life. As this number progressed it encapsulated Beach Boys like harmonies and shades of George Harrison`s solo forays.
`I Chose You,` has a wonderfully larger than life ambience with clacking castanets, twelve string guitar chord riffs, piano slashes and anguished vocal harmonies soaring throughout. We have a slight curved ball with `Could Have Loved You More` which enjoys a kind of country tinge and also some interspersed horns or brass sprinkled throughout.
There`s a robust and heartfelt piano ballad in the shape of `If I Could Read Your Mind` which also enjoys some appealing harmonies and a spirited guitar solo as we undertake this musical voyage. The album closes out with `Spanish Moon` which again has a string arrangement, a marching or military style drum cadence and gently shared vocals. A light and fairly uplifting pop song to end on.
`Sounds In English` is a well thought out, constructed and executed album full of a variety of numbers that will really draw you in. There`s some excellent musicianship throughout and delightful harmonies shared along this enthrallingly captivating release.
There`s certainly something for everyone here on Richard Öhrn`s debut album, grab a copy and discover for yourself.
Rating 8.5 /10