Home Read Classic Album Review: Kurt Nilsen | I

Classic Album Review: Kurt Nilsen | I

The Norwegian plumber delivers the first Idol LP you can listen to more than once.

This came out in 2004 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Kurt Nilsen is just full of surprises.

First, the Norwegian plumber came out of nowhere to snatch the World Idol crown right out from under the snooty nose of that goodie two-shoes Kelly Clarkson. And now he’s pulled off an even more pleastantly astonishing feat: He’s the first Idol or Popstars crooner to make an album you can listen to more than once (and yes, kiddies, I have heard them all, so save your e-mails).

How did he pull it off? Well, first off, he has a strong set of pipes that are a cross between Bono, David Bowie and Elton John. Second, he knows how to sing a song without turning into some wailing, Whitney Houston wannabe. Third — and perhaps most important — he has enough musical chops that he cowrote most of these dozen tunes, which hew closer to guitar-based pop-rock than the typical teen bubblegum and soulful hip-hop. Fourth, he pulls off solid covers of both Duran Duran’s Ordinary World and Tal Bachman’s She’s So High. And he even gets bonus points for swearing!

It’s too bad the Canadian version of this disc (which came out in Norway last fall) doesn’t have the rousing version of U2’s Beautiful Day that won him his crown. But even so, with I, Nilsen becomes the only Idol winner who stands a chance of living up to the title.