Royksopp The Inevitable End Dog Triumph
From the beginning of The Inevitable End, two things are clear: Röyksopp are back, and they’ve taken things up a level. Skulls, the first track on the band’s fifth (and last) full length release begins with a sinister synth line that simultaneously chills and summons a smile; these guys are good for one last go.
It’s been a busy year for the Norwegians, who also recently released and toured an enjoyable bitesized collaboration with fellow Scandinavian savant Robyn, Do It Again. Here they draw from that record in the form of the brilliant Monument, but that’s where
the similarities end. As they bid goodbye to the album format, the result is notably darker in tone.
Some tracks, such as Sordid Affair, fall a little flat in the context of the rest of the album, accomplishing nothing that quality electronic pop songs haven’t done before. But the album as a whole is incredibly solid, occasionally dipping into excellence. The result is a deeply touching, sonically diverse farewell that features collaborations from a number of gifted artists, from Robyn to Ryan James to Susanne Sundfør, with the real treat coming in the form of Jamie McDermott of The Irrepressibles. The tracks on which he features are silky and painfully poignant, seamlessly arranged with atmospheric synth and driving beats. Again and again McDermott’s melancholic, impeccably smooth voice perfectly embodies Röyksopp’s lyrical focus: loneliness, small downfalls, and the end of things.
As you might expect for a closing chapter, The Inevitable End is marked by a sense of mourning. It culminates with the symphonic Coup de Grace and then, finally, the bittersweet Thank You. The last track is unassuming, with simple vocals and a playful synth line that gently fades out. You’re left humbled and, inevitably, grateful.