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SVER - Reverie  

SVER - Reverie  
Folkhall Records FHR002CD  

Understated brilliance from this Swedish/Norwegian group, their second album puts them on the folk side of the folk-rock spectrum, but with firm backing from Adam Johansson on guitar and Jens Linell on drums, plus a guest spot or two by bassist Erik Ronström, there's enough rock here to sink a battleship - perhaps the Tirpitz, sunk in Norway 75 years ago. On the subject of anniversaries, Reverie marks 10 years since the formation of Sver, fronted by formidable fiddlers Anders Hall and Olav Luksengård Mjelva together with button-box boss Leif Invar Ranøien.

Most of this album was written by the band, and their music ranges from the relatively gentle Annas Vals to the pounding hangover anthem Batch 15 commemorating a painful lesson. Boot'n Rally has an old-timey feel, a real front-porch toe-tapper, and Lille Grisen by Norwegian musician Sjur Viken is similarly backwoodsy. After a pair of traditional-sounding polskas by Hall and Myelva, things get funkier on Johansson's E14. The great Norwegian fiddler Andreas Bjorkås wrote Lassi, a very modern piece with an insistent rhythm and more than a hint of troll music in the melody. The title track is more relaxed, with harmonic fiddle effects and a delicate accompaniment, switching to accordion for that extra push. Reverie ends with another gentle piece, inspired by TV's Love Boat - a blend of American and Scandinavian influences, tender yet poignant, underlining the versatility of this talented group and providing a stylish ending to a very fine CD. 

Alex Monaghan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 127 of The Living Tradition magazine.