The Norwegian songwriter Sondre Lerche emerged a decade ago as a precocious and angel-faced teenager with Faces Down, a debut of simple yet sophisticated songs composed of Lerche's guitar and sweet falsetto. In subsequent years, Lerche has branched out extensively, dabbling in everything from jazz (Duper Sessions) to distorted rock (Phantom Punch) to orchestral pop (Heartbeat Radio). But his new, appropriately eponymous album seems to ease up on the rambling experimentation, instead returning to where he started — clear, guileless guitar pop. It's a good niche for Lerche. Songs like "Ricochet" and the ultra-catchy single "Private Caller" exhibit Lerche's greatest musical strengths, namely his warm, open and charismatic delivery and his penchant for punchy melodies.
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