Glenn Meling's Brother Jonathan From Minnesota

I got a new single from Glenn Meling's new CD entitled "Minnesota". The single is called "Brother Jonathan". According to his press release: "The album is about migration to America in the 19th century, when Brother Jonathan was a term used by immigrants to refer to the USA. Brother Jonathan, which predates the more widely known phrase Uncle Sam, personifies the spirit of the new nation in the eyes of the Europeans who left their homelands behind for a fresh start across the Atlantic."
Brother Jonathan, the logo.

I do like concept albums (see my post: but if 'Minnesota' is about the 19th century it certainly isn't reflected in the sound which is highly electronic and very modern sounding. No banjos or acoustic twelve string guitars or mountain dulcimers and no singing with an Appalachian twang although Maling's vocals are very clear, strong and very white. He does employ a chorus of back up singers that give him a soulful veneer but his vocals are of today with no hint of the time period the songs are suppose to represent. Nothing wrong with that in itself. I just didn't expect a synth, drum machine infused track to lyrically be about America's rural past. I suppose I sound like someone complaining that Star Wars is actually a Western in space. So what if the production is well done (it is), the vocals are professional (they are thanks to producer Steve Honest ) and the lyrics are interesting and really applicable to any time and place (they are) if the subject matter is a bit anachronistic (it is)?
 Minnesota, the CD.

Glenn Meling's 'Minnesota' is what I would term an "Easy Listening" album with a very sophisticated and a (what term can I use for "city" other than "Urban" since that has a black connotation?) "downtown loft"(?) vibe to it. In other words this CD does NOT conjure up images of Minnesota, either a hundred years ago or even right now. Again, that's not a slam on a very good, well produced CD but maybe on it's marketing concept.

Glenn Meling probably somewhere in Minnesota.

Maybe Glenn's modern American sound comes from the fact that he's actually from Oslo, Norway. What?! He's another Norwegian that sounds just like an American (see Naveblues)?! I know English is becoming the universal language but are accents all disappearing? He has lived in Australia, United Kingdom and Norway and while living in London studying and performing solo  gigs, he met sound engineer Steve Honest. Together they made the album ‘Sometimes a Bigger Heart’ (2009). He had previously made the album ‘Melingrad’ (2007) in a Norwegian boathouse in one of the fjords near Bergen. ‘Minnesota’ is his third album. Glenn became interested in the journeys of his countrymen after travelling extensively in the States where the influence of the Norwegian settlers continues to this day.  In the 1800s the American midwest became a popular destination for the settlers and today you’ll find collages like St. Olaf in Minnesota which is an       institution that studies Norwegian heritage and immigration. Also, the famous Joel and Ethan Cohen film 'Fargo' has been inspirational and something that sparked his interest in the subject which must make the folks of Fargo especially proud.

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