The Sounds – Something To Die For

January 01, 1970

(SideOneDummy)

 

www.sideonedummy.com

 

The Swedish quintet is back with their fourth album, Something To Die For, and the question
is: is it as good as their previous efforts, not to mention, worth dying for?
That’s a tough call.  The great thing about
The Sounds is their slow and steady evolution – which for them, works. They
never put something out that pulls the rug from under your feet and alienates
fans by doing something entirely new and unrecognizable. But another question
is, how long will that formula work?

 

Each album always added a little extra spicy ingredient, but
the heart and souls has always been pop-rock with catchy hooks. This time, it
appears The Sounds are in the mood to dance. Sure, their stuff has always been
dancey, but this time there’s a more beat-driven, clubby, progressive-pop type
of dance going on. It’s a nice new change, but aside from a few excellent
tracks that take advantage of the new sound, the album as a whole doesn’t
really offer anything terribly exciting and most of the tracks are playing it
safe and treading the waters of familiar territory. It’s not necessarily a bad
thing, but after 4 albums under their belt now, maybe it is time to move on, pull that rug from under our feet and do
something entirely new that will blow us away.

 

“It’s So Easy” opens things up with its slowly accelerating,
throbbing beat. It’s clubby, it’s catchy, and it sets the tone – but it’s
merely only an interlude to the powerhouse dance anthem that follows. “Dance
With The Devil” has a energetic mid-80s club feel and really pumps you up to
run out to the nearest dance floor. It’s fresh, groovy, insanely catchy and
sure to be a crowd pleaser at live shows. But when the ride is over, we get to
“The No No Song.” A decent track but it goes back to the classic pop-rock sound
we’re familiar with. With “Better Off Dead,” we’re back to the dance routine
again – and it’s oh-so-good. This is the first part of the album where you can
feel that the band didn’t know if they wanted to make a dance record or a pop
record. It’s a bit jarring to toggle between two different sounds that evoke
completely different moods for the listener.

 

Another highlight of the album, which feels like it should
be a single, is the funky ‘80s sounding “Yeah Yeah Yeah.” It sounds like
something Blondie would have recorded in 1985 and has a sort of 80’s freestyle
vibe to it. “Diana,” “Something To Die For,” “Won’t Let Them Tear Us Apart,”
and “The Best Of Me” are all satisfactory tracks that sound like something off
of their second album Dying To Say This
To You
, but don’t have as strong of a  replay value as any song off that album. They’re
nowhere near as memorable as some of their earlier works and almost come off as
filler.

 

Things end with “Wish You Were Here,” a gorgeous acoustic
ballad with just Maja and a guitar. It’s a sweet number that is an interesting
bookend to the powerhouse dance numbers that open the album. So what we have
here is an album with some sort of musical identity crisis. Half the tracks are
progressive-dance-rock, the others are traditional pop-rock songs you would
expect from The Sounds along with an awesome acoustic bonus track. It’s a good
record, not great, with a few really good standout tracks. It’s the first album
by The Sounds that doesn’t sound like a whole. It’s almost as if the band
decided to get experimental, reinvent themselves and go with something new,
then backed down and started a whole new recording session that was more
traditional.  If you’re going to shoot
for something new, go all the way. Overall, fans might dig it, but Living In America and Crossing The Rubicon still remain to be
their best albums. The album would’ve been amazing had they stuck to their guns
and did more numbers along the lines of “Dance With The Devil,” “Better Off
Dead” and “Yeah Yeah Yeah.”

 

DOWNLOAD: “It’s
So Easy” “Dance With The Devil,” “Better Off Dead”  “Yeah Yeah Yeah” “Wish You Were Here” GIL
MACIAS

 

 

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