Verdict: Experimental sugar pop easy listening
Norwegian singer Hanne Hukkelberg has put out a sophomore release which really was released almost a year ago as an import, under a different cover and a two letter difference in the title, but as far as I can tell no difference in the tunes or track listing. Both albums or should I say, the album is full of odd little flourishes that set it apart from other syrupy voiced female singer/songwriters. In fact, RykestraBe 68 is quite undefinable, with traceable elements of about every genre. As I read other reviews to see what other critics classified it as I found ambient, chamberpop, experimental, jazz, electronic, and many more, but the fact is, RykestraBe 68 doesn't really fit into any of those genres. It has elements of them, but isn't them. Overall, Hukkelberg delivers a playfully soothing quirky album that is awfully easy to listen to. Maybe I'll label it as easy listening. "Fourteen" is a strange arrangement of found sounds, and cut up clips of Hukkelberg's singing played over a renaissance sounding little melody. It's a hauntingly strange track that is appealing, but gave my dog nightmares. Hukkelberg also covers Pixie's "Break My Body" and gives it a yearning and powerfully dramatic appeal, but it's somehow strange and unsettling to hear her innocent yet seductive voice sing "I'm a horny loser." RykestraBe 68's oddities both lyrically and musically make it an essential album for those easy listening moments.