Teitur is a low-key, old-school troubadour who centers his sound on classic orchestration rather than spoiling it with pop beats or trip-hop rhythms. He sounds a bit like James Taylor, but sings with obvious emotion comparable to an artist such as Freedy Johnston. Teitur's debut album, Poetry & Aeroplanes, is a sketchbook of simple love songs fleshed out with beautiful melodies.
The album is really very simple and immediate at its core, staying true throughout to an acoustic sound. Rupert Hine's transparent production lets the honesty and art of the music come through. A common thread of love and loneliness runs through many of the songs, creating an intimacy that feels optimistic due to the melodies and arrangements.
The most upbeat song is "You're the Ocean," an uplifting tune that that finds Teitur singing about the convergence of excess and deprivation, which, at least in his mind, equates to love. He sings, "Love is somewhere in between what you believe and what you dream." The chorus has an energized, flowing sound that is lifted by the gorgeous strings actually, this one is best described as a small symphony of a love song. It breathes with life and leaves listeners with a feeling of inspiration. Definitely a high point.
"Josephine" is a haunting look at the loss of imagination that many of us experience
as we grow older. A quiet waltz, it is both sweet and sad, and there is an unsettling
resemblance to "The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" (from "The Nutcracker") in
its staccato melody. The lyrics describe how all of us, with the exception of "Josephine," eventually
lose the wide-eyed imagination of childhood. It will make you stop for a moment
to try and find that moment when you too lost it.
In "Amanda's Dream," Teitur warns us of what can happen if we don't pursue our dreams by telling the sad story of Amanda, a girl who lets her dreams float out the window and watches them fade away. The song opens with a soft ambling guitar that slowly rises to a lovely rush of sound at the bridge, then falls again to quiet acoustics. If you don't go after your dreams, what else is left in life? Waiting, regret, standing still like Amanda? It is a small, powerful song that makes its point.
Some listeners may think that Teitur is no more than a tepid folk-singer who sings sappy acoustic love songs. In some ways this is true. Then why such a glowing review? How is Teitur any different from every other coffee-house troubadour? Perhaps he isn't, but I find this album captivating. It is emotionally engaging, but not over the top. It has an organic understated feel that will grow on you if you give it a chance. And it has a kind of natural elegance, a classic beauty. It speaks to me.