I’ve been meaning to write this for a month now, but first I was busy, and then I’ve been too lazy to do anything. Any regular reader (if such a person exists) will know that Miike Snow are one of my favourite bands, and their new album Happy to You was released last month. This post is a lazy review – in that, I’m literally going to go through every track and review them one by one. I’m taking this lazy approach because, after a huge recent project at university, I can’t be doing structured writing!
But first, a little background. Miike Snow’s eponymous debut album was released in 2009 and is one of my favourite albums. I love listening to it, and I just think it’s a really great indie-electro record. For this reason, their new album has been highly anticipated, at least by me.
The album kicks off with Enter the Joker’s Lair, and if you can get over the random opening, it’s a pretty solid track. It seems quite different to the first album, which means that it sets the scene well for a more experimental offering. I can’t imagine anyone being able to dance to it, though, purely due to its strange rhythm.
On first listen, The Wave was my highlight. It is your classic Miike Snow, with swooning lyrics and a catchy hook, and the continuous snare drum throughout the song really adds to it. I could listen to it over and over again, which I have done. It’s just a really upbeat, chilled out song that could have come off the first album.
Devil’s Work was the first song to be played from the album in December, although it has not been released as a single. It is epic in scale, with excellent production that you would expect from such production maestros. The brass makes the chorus particularly catchy, and overall it’s just a really good song that got me really excited for the album to drop.
The fourth track, Vase, is decent enough, and is a definite grower when you listen again. It doesn’t reach the heights of the previous two songs, however, although in my opinion the bar was set very high. That’s not to say it’s a disappointment, however, and it is a definite easy listener which contributes to the album overall.
God Help This Divorce is another that didn’t really register on my first listen but has since grown on me. It’s as close to a ballad as Miike Snow tread, and while lyrics are never really the band’s strong point, there are some really nice lines in this. ‘Sun sets for so long on these streets/So many beautiful faces that don’t need me/Papers and little useless things/Slide down along the pavement away from me‘ – it’s actually quite a sad song, but in a typically Miike Snow way it can be quite uplifting too.
Another grower, and this time it’s grown to be one of my favourites on the album. Bavarian #1 (Say You Will) brings back the marching drum beat from The Wave and puts it to great effect. A great hook in the chorus, coupled with more swooning vocals – you could listen to this song again and again and not get bored of it.
Pretender seems like classic Miike Snow, too, and yet again it has a great beat that will instantly have you tapping your feet. It’s really hard to say anything more about it, because on first listen the hooks will just drag you in and you’ll accept that it’s a great song!
Onto Archipelago, and this stood out as a bit of a strange one on first listen. It has grown on me, and I think it’s slightly off-beat rhythm takes a few listens to appreciate. Lyrically, god knows what it’s about – but who cares when it’s as well produced as this.
Fellow Swede Lykke Li lends her distinctive vocals to Black Tin Box, another that leaked out before the album was released. I was initially really disappointed with this, but it’s a grower – it’s creepy, almost dark but the song develops and grows throughout.
You may have heard Paddling Out, the first single to be released from the album. It’s definitely one of the highlights, which is why it was chosen as lead single, and it’s just insanely good music. I always find it hard to put a label on Miike Snow’s music, but this song pretty much typifies them. Upbeat, electro, experimental, quirky, pop – just anthems really. I’ve seen a video of them performing this live on YouTube, and it really makes you appreciate it more and illustrates the depth of the production.
After Paddling Out, Garden is naturally a little underwhelming. Again, it’s a decent enough song, but it doesn’t really stand out and fades into the background a bit. It has grown on me, but I wouldn’t say that it’s one of my favourites, and I think this and Vase could be paired together as the weakest of this offering.
Closer No Starry World also underwhelms a little, but it’s quite a complex song and bookends the album nicely. Not much more to say than that.
My overall opinion? A solid and at times spectacular second album, which is no easy feat. As with any album, there are highs and lows, but every song has been meticulously produced and the whole album just exudes what the band are about.Noteworthy 15 April 2012
Tagged as music, noteworthy, reviews
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Hello my name is Andy.I am a twenty-one year old student from Liverpool, UK.
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