No other album in 2021 has been so emotionally powerful. No other has had that level of impact. In my review for Louder Than War, I spoke about the way that other great works of art – Giuseppe Sanmartino’s sculpture of the Veiled Christ and Joy Division’s Closer – have a stunning tragedy about them. The Age Of Oddities has a similar impact.
For four years in the mid-part of the last decade, Rutger Hoedemaekers worked alongside that colossus of modern classical music, Jóhann Jóhannsson. Together they crafted several outstanding soundtracks, including scores for Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! (2017), James Marsh’s The Mercy (2018). Tragedy struck, however, in February 2018 when Jóhannsson tragically and suddenly passed away. It is no wonder that The Age Of Oddities carries such a weight of sorrow.
It is an extraordinary album, a powerful and emotive body of work that paints the most vivid images in the listener’s mind. It is a worthy addition to this ‘Best Of…’ list.