The Sounds


Written by: HES on 06/01/2014 11:58:07

In case you missed The Sound's massive hit "Living in America" back in 2002 here's another chance to get into the closest thing to Blondie, right after Blondie of course. "Weekend" is the 4th album from The Sounds.

The Sounds is mainly driven by lead singer Maja Ivarsson's voice which is boyish and has this unpolished, yelling-quality to it. The music is reminiscent of the new wave-era but also characterized by the famous Swedish pop-tradition. These two mix great at times in powerful pop-songs like album-opener "Shake Shake Shake", but most of the time it falls out extremely toothless like semi-ballad "Great Day" and the single "Weekend". Overall the choruses are crazy catchy like you would expect from anything coming out of Sweden since ABBA, but the lyrical support of these great hooks is at best naive, at worst just unimaginative. Take the chorus line of "Shake Shake Shake": "You got to shake shake shake with someone like me" or "Weekend"'s lyrics going "If you're wondering what it's like to be me, I live for the weekend, baby".

I appreciate that Ivarsson's vocal style is kinda punkish and laidback, but this combined with the echoed mix of her voice makes her sound distant and disengaged most of the time. And when the music is mainly driven by her voice, this eventually makes the whole album lack what has always been the force of new wave bands: The energy. Songs like "Animal" come a bit closer, but still it sounds more like a replicated karaoke-version of the band that produced hits like "Painted By Numbers" back in their heyday. Keyboardist Jasper Anderberg has called this album a "back-to-the-basics" album, but the band is trying to be way "more" than the party band they were back in 2002 - but not with a great outcome. Their attempts with ballads and different tempi unfortunately only show that the band probably doesn’t have what it takes to get back on the hitlists or even a Spotify list. The sincerity is also a problem, as it isn't to be found in the lyrics or the melodies, not even the mix and the entire album feels quite flat and - dare I say - dowdy? The cool 80's touch has become tired and outworn.


Download: Young and Wild, Shake Shake Shake, Weekend
For The Fans Of: The Hives, The Donnas, Melody Club

Release Date 29.10.2013
Arnioki Records

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