Throughout his debut album, Norwegian DJ, songwriter and producer Todd Terje is able to create a diverse collection of tracks while maintaining the casual, lighthearted style for which he is famous.
Terje has been around for nearly 10 years, releasing his first three singles in 2005. However, Terje finally released his first complete album, It’s Album Time, on April 8, a collection of 12 tracks including songs that had been previously released.
Even though the majority of the album’s songs do not feature lyrics, Terje is able to produce engaging music by laying multiple beats on top of one another. The rhythms in each song constantly evolve and do not abide by any rhythmic order. To add consistency, his songs usually feature a singular rhythm through which many complex and high tempo beats are constantly weaved in and out. On nearly every track, there are at least two separate rhythms at once that Terje successfully synthesizes together to create an upbeat disco vibe.
The majority of the songs imbue a carefree atmosphere tailored for a night made up of strictly dancing. Terje also adds his own sense of humor, evident on his album cover and the quirky sound effects that appear at random moments throughout nearly every song. Effects resembling farts is just one effect that he adds to amplify the lighthearted tone present in nearly every jam.
“Oh Joy” is a prime example of a Terje signature: a seven-minute track that begins with a spacey palette and traverses into the indelible mixture of signature disco and beach vibes.
The major standout of this album is the surprisingly melancholy “Johnny and Mary,” featuring Bryan Ferry, a song about a stagnant relationship. It is the only track featuring lyrics but also lacks an upbeat tempo packed with humorous sound effects. On this song, Terje shows his ability to create not only smiling-inducing dance jams but also sentimental meditations on life.
Even though Terje’s signature style is upbeat dance music perfect for a night out, the beautifully sad track “Johnny and Mary” is the most memorable track of the album. The presence of just one of these beautiful, sad tracks is slightly disappointing, as Terje so successfully transforms his usual style. The album’s lack of variety, therefore, keeps it from becoming something truly great.
In his long-awaited album, Terje delivers his signature disco dance vibe, but also gives fans something extra: a slow-paced, heartfelt love story that truly shows Terje’s diverse talent across all soundscapes.