It’s Album Time lives up to its seasonal glory.
Released on April 8, It’s Album Time is Norwegian electronic DJ and producer Todd Terje’s debut album. Terje previously made a name for himself with remixes and live performances throughout the 2000’s, but didn’t release any original work until 2012’s It’s the Arps EP, which included three tracks that have been recycled for this album.
He has been referred to as “king of the summer jams” by European music magazine, Mixmag, and was featured on a Rolling Stone list of notable DJs from around the world.
All this experience and acclaim helps explain how a debut album can be as carefree and confident as It’s Album Time, a singularly focused but immensely enjoyable collection of electronic disco dance tracks that should by all rights be heard blaring both from dance clubs and rolled-down car windows throughout the coming spring and summer months.
The album maintains its joyous and lighthearted tone almost without exception, and it comes off as refreshing both musically and by its lack of wanting for any sort of in-depth evaluation. It’s silly and playful, and it inspires its listeners to feel the same way.
The flamboyant space disco flourishes and surfy synths give the album an almost campy feel, but without the heaviness of other absurd electronic music like that of Skrillex or DJ Snake.
You’re certainly invited to dance, but you’re not compelled to, and most tracks seem as if they’d be as at home, serving as the background music of a retro video game as they would be coming from a stereo on a beach.
The single departure from energetic whimsy is “Johnny and Mary,” a cover of a 1980 Robert Palmer song that features English pop-rock singer Bryan Ferry. This track stands out more than any other and showcases an uncharacteristic bit of emotion amid the overwhelming goofiness. Terje seems to be showcasing his range, and he does so well.
The song is great on its own accord while also serving as something of a break from the fast-paced nature of the rest of the album.
Other tracks to look out for are the spacey and exciting “Delorean Dynamite” and “Svensk Sås.” The latter of these seems to be composed almost entirely of mixed scat samples (and is pretty bonkers as a result).
Overall, the album is a worthy official debut for an artist already widely admired in his field. It’s the kind of album you can put on repeat and not get tired of for a long time, and it manages to pull off sounding both fresh and vintage all at once. More than anything, though, it’s just a really fun listen, and highly recommended.
It’s Album Time is available now.