‘No’ is another rich slice of Norwegian-tinted Americana from Live Miranda Solberg’s (Louien) and it’s the first single from her forthcoming album No Tomorrow / Figure Me Out which includes tracks from the 2021 EP No Tomorrow plus a set of new tracks.
Solberg says that ‘No’ is about boundaries “I know it’s a lame topic! But I wrote this when I was very angry at someone for not listening to me. Why does it take so much for some people to take a hint?!” It’s not hard to hear that frustration coursing through the song and the opening sounds like fresh lava bubbling up waiting to scorch anyone who comes near.
Louien can make music that’s as fragile as spring ice or heart-rending enough to make your surroundings disappear. ‘No’ plays out like a mini drama over its five and half minutes. It ebbs and flows with a gritty wall-of-sound ferocity that swells in the chorus and with Solberg’s superlative voice blasting through. Eventually the song softens to a plaintive collage of bass and piano, like the last raindrops after a thunderstorm, with Solberg reflective voice showing catharsis in the frustration having finally dissipated.
This is another outstanding track from an artist who not only has one of the best voices around but understands how to capture strong emotions in song with a rare honesty.
Review by Paul F Cook