North Atlantic Oscillation continue where they left off with "Fog Electric" in 2012: "The Third Way", the third album by the Scots multi-instrumentalist Sam Healy, clearly focuses on dreamy artpop, which is opulently arranged and more in major than minor. The ten new songs form a homogeneous big whole, which is not only ensured by the merging of the songs, but also by the fine instrumentation and the reserved moods. Of course pieces like "Great Plains II", "August" or "Penrose" are cheerful, with lively rhythms. But they are not unbridled and fit so to the sweet melancholy of some other songs. "Elsewhere" wallows in complete detachment. "A Nice Little Place" remains in ambience of strings and clarinet. "Do Something Useful" floats above all clouds. The epic in "Pines Of Eden" can be grasped with both hands. NAO fall into an elegant melody here, let it recur again and again. Similar to "Dust", where piano figures shine in the background. In the final "When To Stop" it gets really loud after a tender beginning. One might think the euphony of this album is exaggerated. But the remarkably coordinated arrangements more than make up for that.
Top track: Pines Of Eden