It may not be currently in the works, but if a Hollywood studio ever wants to create a modern reboot of The Rat Pack, Sondre Lerche is a shoe-in.
Between his blue eyes, his smooth voice and his gentlemanly demeanor, the 27-year-old Norwegian proves that he possesses the classic charm of generations past on “Heartbeat Radio.” He even provides a cheeky acknowledgement of his charms by comparing himself to failed one-time James Bond portrayer George Lazenby.
Site Map Lerche’s fifth studio album is a familiar cocktail of jazzy flourishes, robust string accompaniment and pop melodies. Songs like the breezy “Almighty Moon” and “Easy to Persuade” typify his musical aesthetic – Lerche sings his lyrics with a wink on top of relaxed acoustic guitar strumming and an unhurried drumbeat.
“You be words/ And I’ll be music/ Ain’t you heard that’s how to do it/ You’re a poem when you’re on your own,” Lerche sings on “Words and Music,” as if he were addressing an audience full of platinum blondes holding martini glasses.
While “Heartbeat Radio” is an easy album to like, there’s nothing particularly exciting about the outing. Lerche is a prolific songwriter as well as a deft musician and song craftsman, but all of the record’s pleasantries and charm often come at the expense of emotional impact.
Attributing the phrase “background music” to Lerche’s style seems like a disservice to such carefully rendered music, but Lerche’s endearing tenor and polished arrangements allow for passive listening.
Still, while “Heartbeat Radio” may not be a life-changing album, it remains a consistent and well executed endeavor. Lerche’s modern take on the debonair songsmith always provides for a reliably pleasant listen.