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The Understanding Import

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 12 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Wall of Sound
  • ASIN: B0009RQRP6
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
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1. Triumphant
2. Only This Moment
3. 49 Percent
4. Sombre Detune
5. Follow My Ruin
6. Beautiful Day Without You
7. What Else Is There?
8. Circuit Breaker
9. Alpha Male
10. Someone Like Me
11. Dead To The World
12. Tristesse Globale

Product Description

One of the most beloved and best selling artists in the electronic genre, Royksopp returns with this highly anticipated 2nd album The Understanding. Combining lush atmospherics with swoonworthy pop, the Norwegian duo deliver a delectable follow-up to their worldwide hit Melody AM. Contains 12 total tracks. Astralwerks. 2005.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Why this album gets slammed by so many is a mystery for the ages. Everyone seems to make these odd comments about Melody AM being the better album. Strange. Yes, Melody AM is a good record. There are about 4 REALLY beautiful tracks on there and a bunch of pretty filler. It's flaw is that it's so "loop based". This is a sound that went out when Moby's "Play" finally died (another great but now dated release). With The Understanding, Royksopp have released two of the finest electronic laptop tracks EVER created. Only This Moment and Beautiful Day Without You. These tracks alone have been played in my car or home stereo (without exageration) at LEAST 200 times or more since buying this CD. Being as old as I am (38), I figured that my "all time favorite" songs were pretty much wrapped up with songs like "Alison" by Slowdive, or, "Nowhere Man" by the Beatles being the top two since forever. Then The Understanding arrived... To be fair, it's ONLY flaw is the half baked Alpha Male (the only filler on the record). The rest of the album is, to use a rather cheezy expression, "all killer - no filler".

Maybe it's the producer in me that appreciates just how complex these tracks are. In "Only This Moment" alone, there is more going on than 99% of pop records today COMBINED!

All I can say is, THANK GOD we got away from the loop based stuff before we all died from it. That being said, I would rank the top three laptop albums of all time (so far) as follows: 1)The Understanding, 2)Angel Milk by Telepopmusik (their first album "Genetic World" was three great tracks and a bunch of throw away stuff), and 3) Out Of The Loop by I Am the World Trade Center (a loop based album, ironically)...

Royksopp's "The Understanding" is a 8 out of 5 star album (it's docked two for Alpha Male being SUCH a waste of time, and for the last two tracks being so similar with no real beats. Just bad song placement, really).
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Format: Audio CD
This is a decent album on its own, but it's very disappointing as a follow up to one the greatest electronic albums of the new millenium. Half the the tracks sound like Erasure, while the other half sound like latter-day Alan Parsons Project. None of the tracks have the transporting quality of the best songs on Melody A.M.
The less said about 49%, the better. My Lord! NSync would be hard pressed to write something that insipid.
2 stars, 3 stars if you rip it into MP3s and delete 49%
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa423b990) out of 5 stars 63 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3ff1600) out of 5 stars Only this moment July 26 2005
By Erica Anderson - Published on
Format: Audio CD
After 3 years since the release of "Melody A.M", Royskopp finally follows up with "The Understanding". "Melody A.M" was a delight to listen to. It was one of the best chill out albums I had heard that year. I was hoping that their next album would be just as good and I was right. I found "The Understanding" just as good as their first album. I loved the percolating electrnoic beats and the lush melodies that also could be found on the group's first album. "The Understanding" kicks off with the haunting melodies of "Triumphant". I immediately fell in love with the combination of trip hop beats and fragile piano melodies. The cd continues to get better with the electro-clash lite track "Only This Moment". It had a good beat. One of the few weaker tracks on the album is "49 Percent". I'm not really into r&b music so I couldn't get into the smooth, r&b vocals by Chelonis R. Jones. The highlight of the album for me has to be track 7 "What Else is There?". I just loved the vocals Karin Dreijer. It is another great dance track on the album. It was nice that Royskopp picked up the beat on "The Understanding" without totally ditching their laid back grooves that most people fell in love with. I haven't been able to stop listening to "The Understanding". It has quickly become the soundtrack to my summer.
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3ff1678) out of 5 stars Synth Pop the Royksopp Way. July 24 2005
By The Groove - Published on
Format: Audio CD
On their 2001 debut, "Melody AM," Norway's Torbjorn and Svein Bergem of Royksopp raised the bar of downtempo electronica with such tasty confections such as "Eple," "Sparks," and "So Easy." But on "The Understanding," they just simply want to make you dance. The grooves are harder, edgier, and darker than what we've come to expect, but the sound is still very much Royksopp. If you're looking for a chillout disc, this ain't the one. It's a radical departure from its predecessor, so fans should be warned and proceed with a degree of caution and an open mind. A welcome surprise is "49 Percent," which hits you hard with a stuttering beat and an unexpectedly soulful vocal from Chelonis Jones. It's easily one of my favorite tracks. "Sombre Detune" and "Someone Like Me" helps give the disc a funky edge. Other standouts include the lush and ambient "Dead to the World," while "Beautiful Day Without You" is a classic piece of synth pop. Every song here is good, except perhaps for "Alpha Male," which unfortunately wears out its welcome within 4 minutes of its 8 minute running time. Beyond that, it's one of the most engaging electronic records of the year.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3fe8510) out of 5 stars Pure Norwegian Bliss...Get the repeat button ready! Aug. 3 2005
By A. Taylor - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I originally heard of the Norwegian group Royksopp when visiting Amsterdam. I had MTV Europe on in my hotel room (MTV Europe actually still plays music, what a concept!) and I saw the video for "Poor Leno" and was instantly hooked. Of course, when you hear a song so instantly infectious to your ears, you think, how the heck can they possibly follow this up?

The answer is "The Understanding," an absolute gem of a disc that builds on the bands beginnings and takes their music one step beyond, creating swirling cinematic melodies coupled with beautiful, emotive, yet understated vocals. The first single and video, "Only This Moment" is sublime. (Be sure to check out the video online at the Astralwerks website.) The song is plaintive, emotional, melancholy, and at the same time "funky", albeit in a Norwegian Electronica sort of way.

I have had this disc for two weeks and it has yet to leave my CD player. Call it electronica, dance, downtempo,or whatever you like... this music is gorgeous and cinematic. Music based in electronica can sometimes be cold and inaccessible, but Royksopp know how to put emotion in their music. Royksopp's music is rather hard to categorize... Let's call it "Norwegian Bliss".

Note: The limited edition 2CD set is worth the extra few dollars! It includes bonus tracks, mainly instrumental, unavailable elsewhere.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa40b4318) out of 5 stars IT'S NO MELODY AM, NOT BY A LONGSHOT, BUT GOOD. April 13 2007
By Tony T - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Let me start by saying that I really wanted to give the album a 3 1/2, but whatever. Now, I'm sure I'm not going to say anything new that the previous 50-something reviews haven't already, but as I'm a new fan of Royksopp, I feel that maybe I might not be as biased as the long term fans. I'll admit that until I saw the Geico commercial, I never knew Royksopp existed. Hate me now long time fans; I care not in the least. Anyway, I think I purchased Melody AM about 2 or so months prior to The Understanding and was floored by it-ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY FLOORED. So naturally I was going to grab The Understanding (although I'll confess, that I put off buying The Understanding for months because I wanted to hear Melody AM first).

Well, The Understanding...takes some understanding. After Melody AM, you wonder "Why the heck did they go in this direction?" You may feel like they spit in your eye with this one. I guess it takes an open mind. If you're the type of person who enjoys many genres, I can't see why you wouldn't like at least half of this album. I liked "Only This Moment" the moment I heard it; the vocals work so well together and it makes me feel...I don't know...hopeful or something (corny, I know). "Circuit Breaker" is funky and I like its energy, much like "49 Percent". "49 Percent" is my tie for fave with "Only This Moment". "Alphamale" does nothing for me, personally. "What Else Is There" was hard for me to swallow at first, but then it grew on me. It has a sort of desolate, macabre feel to it for me...I can imagine being in a desert at night, full of hallucinogenes and feeling insignificant against nature when I listen to it...and the chick singing really sounds a lot like Cindy Lauper, though not as eccentric. I feel that if you're truly a lover of music, you'll at least like this CD.

I noticed reviewers saying things like "I liked this until I heard it in Electronics Boutique" or "I loved it until it went mainstream." I really hate when people say things like "I loved this until it became mainstream," or "I wish everyone else would stay away from my genre of music." Good music is good music and no one has the right to try to horde music like some stingy troll or rancid dragon hording a stolen treasure. Personally, I feel that if you can't like something simply because other people like it or "play it out" then you're just a fickle supporter at best.

That being said, The Understanding doesn't compare to Melody AM, regardless of how aware I am of the different paths the two CDs follow. You won't suffer a great loss if you don't pick it up, like you would if you ignored Melody AM...but you won't be buying the worst CD on the planet if you get it. I don't know if that helps much, but there it is.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa40b4090) out of 5 stars sweating on a burning ice-dance-floor July 12 2005
By Silvio Giachetti - Published on
Format: Audio CD
"The Understanding" doesn't disappoint my expectations... It is more than just electro-pop.. Full of different moods, the album is certainly more mature and complete than "Melody A.M."

The freshening first single "Only this moment", the hypnotic "49%", the atmospheric and dark "Sombre Detune" and "Alpha Male" are simply beautiful, like the "Beautiful Day Without You" , the perfect soundtrack of a day at the beach. The distinctive "nordic beat" vibrates especially on "Circuit Breaker", "Someone like Me" and on the Bjork-esque "What Else Is There?". "The Triumphant","Tristesse Globale" and "Dead to the World" are more intimate but equally charming.