CD Review of The Tourniquet by Magnet
Filter U.S. Recordings
Magnet: The Tourniquet

Reviewed by Mike Farley


agnet is not a band in the true sense. Rather it’s the stage name of one Even Johansen, a Norwegian singer/songwriter with a gift for melody and keen sense of dreamy, lo-fi delivery. Magnet racked up critical acclaim for his first U.S.-distributed 2003 release, On Your Side. Now he is back with The Tourniquet, his first major label release, on Filter U.S. Recordings. A dude with a soothing yet soulful voice, Magnet is an accomplished musician who plays guitar, bass, keys, and is an electronic wiz as well. Comparisons have been drawn to such artists as Elliott Smith, Beck and Coldplay, and melodically he may be even more accessible than those acts.

If anyone can combine electronica with banjo riffs, it’s Magnet, and he somehow does this while placing a soaring chorus on the opening track, “Hold On.” “Duracellia” is more of an acoustic-driven piece about staying strong whether love stays or goes.
“The Pacemaker” is the unofficial title track and has simple yet meaningful lyrics: “Take my hand, I will follow/Only you can slow this down/Take my hand, and I will mellow/’Cos only you can hold me like a tourniquet/ and make me stay, here with you.”

“Believe” is a powerful track and the catchiest song on here - emotive, dark and uplifting all at the same time. “Fall at Your Feet” is Beatlesque in its melodic flair but also in the way Magnet uses layered harmonies and criss-crossing vocal lines. Other standouts are “Miss Her So” and “Jaws,” though there really isn’t a bad song on The Tourniquet.

With a velvety voice, Magnet already has that compelling aspect that many singer/songwriters lack. But when combined with his instrumental and electronic prowess, as well as being born with the ability to write great songs, you’ve got a total package that has probably not reached its full potential yet. The Tourniquet is dreamy, well produced, and performed with precision - and will make a fine addition to anyone’s CD collection that digs this kind of stuff.

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