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Music Review: Casiokids – Topp Stemning Pa Lokal Bar

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I often wondered if Norway translated well into America. It's a silly question, I know. Do any countries translate well to other countries? Some do, and some don't. With those odds, why even try?

To party, of course.

Norwegian pop band Casiokids definitely had the right approach when it decided to finally release its dance-tinged music into the U.S. While it wouldn't seem strange to fans, a potential audience of listeners might find that language barrier too much to handle.

Yes, Casiokids' U.S. debut Topp Stemning Pa Lokal Bar is recorded in Norwegian. The album title should have clued you into that possibility. But as Rammstein and Sigur Ros have demonstrated, good music will always translate well.

CasiokidsFull Disclosure: I will refrain from attempting to translate the song titles or understand what the songs are truly about. While I hope to learn Norwegian some day, I'm feeling that now would not be the best time to blow through a crash language course. However, Self-Titled Magazine did attempt a couple of translations.

Interpreted as "Great vibe at local bar," Topp Stemning Pa Lokal Bar opens with the low-key playful track "Grønt lys i alle led" reminiscent to Phoenix, as does the foot tap-inducing "Finn bikkjen!"

Much of the album does maintain a low-key vibe that plays better in a bar rather than a more rowdy club. "Verdens største land" is such a song that motivates one to dance solo by a jukebox rather than by mega surround sound (see Emily Blunt shake it in Dan In Real Life for a dance lesson).

I can't help but come away from Casiokids thinking its sole musical mission is to make people move their bodies, move their feet, and have an overall good time. The purely instrumental "Fot i hose" and funky "En ville hest" show the band is unbounded in that quest to be catchy and memorable.

I didn't think I could ever feel this way about anything Norway-related that wasn't competing in the Miss Universe pageant. Hmm, I must be growing as a person.

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About Tan The Man

A proud dork and loser, Tan The Man writes mostly about film and music, and has previously covered the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, South By Southwest and WonderCon.