Friday, March 20, 2009

Whew; Now Here's a Music Review

I actually have a brief break at work. Who knows how long this will last, but in the meantime, a brief music review:

Living Thing, the new Peter Bjorn and John album, is really good. Well, some of the songs are really good. "Stay This Way" is a terrific song, the kind of song with whose lyrics I immediately identify (romantic anxiety? Self-doubt? Cheesy lovey-dovey lines that make me swoon in spit of myself? Check, check, for the love of Bjorn, check!) I found myself getting bored at time with the drumbeats-and-vocals pattern they seem to have acquired, but maybe that's your cup of tea. There's still fun to be had on this album; check out "I Want You!" and "Last Night" if you're looking for melody. "All that I want is no more falling," Peter (or whoever sings these songs) moans on the latter track, and the piano background is appreciated if for no other reason than distracting us from the fact that he's sad.

Because here's the thing: Living Thing is not Writer's Block. There's no "Young Folks" here; the band seems to be heading in a darker, sparser, almost hip-hoppy direction (or just plain ol' psychadelia, as in "I'm Losing My Mind"), drifting away from the twee dance-pop that made their previous efforts so enjoyable. Which isn't to say you won't enjoy this record; it just means you'll enjoy it if you enjoy brooding, and there maybe won't be five thousand hipster remixes of any of the tracks. Except maybe the lead single. It's a little "D.A.N.C.E."-y, yes, but it also gets the job done in terms of catchiness and accessibility.

So there you go. Peter Bjorn and John are depressed. Join the club! (Ha.)


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