The Norwegian choir SKRUK has recorded a modern gospel album for which Kirsti Dahl Johansen has written strong, lasting melodies and lyrics.Tord Gustavsen lifts all this into hymns of hope to light our way in this time of fear and pessimism.These are songs we need in our time.

On a new album with appealing and captivating tunes and lyrics by Kirsti Dahl Johansen and vivid arrangements by Tord Gustavsen, SKRUK sings songs that tell us how humanity keeps making the same fatal mistakes over and over, and yet never stops hoping and fighting for what is right.

“Taking Back the Garden of Eden” is an album that does not hide who we are and how we fail as individuals and society. It points back to many references from Biblical stories, but it is surprising how the lyrics and melodies transform the old stories into highly topical and relevant issues. We are living in a time when humanity is being challenged more than ever before as we strive to find new solutions for reconquering the landscapes of love, belonging and wisdom that we are in the process of losing. Here Kirsti Dahl Johansen points to some sources of understanding and positive action.

In a time when media more often than before splash headlines of dystopias, and where faint rays of hope are like dearly welcomed emergency rations in an on-going campaign to regain some of what has been lost, these songs on the album come to our rescue with comfort and inspiration.

The conductor is, as always since the choir was founded in 1973, Per Oddvar Hildre, familiarly known as Prots. Of the now 50 singers only one has been a member since the start. Every year new singers have arrived to replace veterans who have left, but the SKRUK sound is the same as in the 1970s, as if a magical musical elixir has kept the choir alive and well through its 45 years.

In addition to his arrangements, Tord Gustavsen also participates with his characteristic piano sound (on a Fasioli concert grand), while Rune Arnesen plays inspiring and steady grooves on drums. The album has been recorded in Sagene Church in Oslo by Alf Christian Hvidsteen; produced by Erik Hillestad.

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