Mor (Margret Eir / vocals and Robert Thorhallsson / bass) has been creating quite a wave in Iceland. The duo has been touring the country, selling out concert halls, receiving rave reviews. Duran, a cool collection of (you guessed it) Duran tunes has taken Margret (already one of Iceland's most popular vocalists) and Robert (who has recorded over 20 albums) to a new level as well as introducing them to the U.S. and Canadian radio markets in the fall of 2006 by quickly charting on NPR stations like WVIA in Pennsylvania, and CFBU in Ontario, frequently played on New York area stations like WFMU, WVOF and WESU, added to numerous playlists such as KTUH in Hawaii and KCBX in California and making WVIA radio host and producer George Graham's best of 2006 CD list. Translating. Interpreting. Incarnating. Transforming a cultural collage-- without sentiment or inhibition-- into translucent clarity. Duran is an homage that remains personal. These masters of infusion have been connecting melodic pieces from other times and places to animate standard or forgotten songs like musical puppeteers. A uniquely modern, evolving symposium. A conversation as elemental and organic as the resonance created by the interactive friction of two twigs. The cultural mercury is re-lit. Margret inhabits the lyrical imagery like an actor, while Robert's orchestral waves form an architectural cushion that both interacts and supports as the Icelandic songstress roams within. The immediacy, and chamber like sparseness that illuminates what was evidently pretty good material to begin with (thanks Margret) reminds us of the spirit/ aura in the record on the radio. The ghost in the pop song machine that can't be faked or simulated. Contemporary and classic. When the narrative moves into the oo's and ah's--there is no lapse into loungey scat singing-- instead our ears are delighted by the coolness and texture of these phonetic stories. Veneers passing through a renaissance of voice and soul, musicality and intelligence. A stirring transcendence of the status quo like a crisp Icelandic wind that doesn't linger or make any mistake about it's presence... leaving behind the only reaction humanely possible. Warm up to Mor ! Mor's interpretations reveal new insight into the songs-- a brand new way of looking at even the most familiar sculpture. Like Sinatra, and the new wave of female artists--Rebecca Martin, Norah Jones, or Madeleine Peyroux, Margret tends the pastures of our common songbook with tenderness and intelligence bringing out both the referential along with the singular and distinct, balanced only as artists like Margret and Robert can ... with ease and clarity. Duran shows Margret's gift for economy and understatement embracing the lyrics with sensitivity--never any melismatic excess--just inhabitation of the lyric so realized that any additional accompaniment would be superfluous. A mature soulful pop delivery --- with such passion and control that it's apparent any metaMoRphous Mor chooses to undertake in the spectrum of popular music, will be as natural as a northern sunrise. Crystalline intonation. Warm, orchestral textures that will linger and bring you back. 'Cause when you get to the end---you've got to start all over again.' Duran is Mor. No less...
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