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Writer's Block CD

4.5 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 Aug. 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Polydor Group
  • ASIN: B000FA58IE
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 93,428 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Charming 2006 album of sunny electro-pop & toe-tapping euro-funk. Includes the hook-laden indie hit "Young Folks".

Amazon.co.uk

As fine an album as this might be (and indeed it is), it serves a much higher purpose for which it must be immediately recognised. The twee Swedish trio have single-handedly tugged whistling out of popular music's pits where it was stuffed by German soft metal granddads The Scorpions back in the early 90s. It's not even particularly proficient whistling – it's a bit skewiff really, a little out of tune – but it's tacked onto the irresistibly bobbing, Velvet-Underground-via-The-Concretes infectiousness of "Young Folks", augmented by the warm-ember vocals of ex-Concrete Victoria Bergsman herself, and by association sounds fairly heroic. Accidentally anthemic, perhaps, but anthemic nonetheless. Result.

Which sets a tone for the rest of this off-kilter lo-fi record. Draw a slightly wonky line from Simon & Garfunkel through to The Shins, making sure you take in the sharp Scandinavian indie-pop of the '90s (Wannadies, The Cardigans) and modern day peers (Radio Dept, Shout Out Louds) and you have a folk album that isn't really all that folk, swimming through its own dreamy washes of ambition. The drumming on tracks like "Let's Call It Off" and "Paris 2004" is so elementary you might as well add your own, but it keeps the intuitive, simplistic 60's beat melodies trickling steadily onwards. The underlying appeal is that things could snap like an elastic band at any moment, that things are beautifully limited. Less writers block, more loving the detail of your first chapter so much you have no inclination to move on. --James Berry

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I knew nothing of this Swedish group before I stumbled upon a video quite by chance for the song 'Young Folks' recently, and was immediately 'hooked'! I'd never heard it before - though it had been a chart hit reaching number thirteen a couple of years go.

It's not often that I am drawn to a whole album by a group I'm unfamiliar with by simply one song, but having been so hooked on this one number, I went to listen to the Amazon Samples for the rest of the album it was taken from, and although sounding somewhat 'different', I liked what I heard! It's a sort of mixture of 'out of key/tune' melodies in some places, and some songs that might make you think of a tune being played back at the wrong speed. However, they're all pretty 'hooky'!

The best of them by far has to be: 'Young Folks', 'Amsterdam', 'Up Against The Wall', 'Paris 2004' and 'Rolls The Credits' - the others I should imagine will most certainly grow the more one listens to them.

This album with a most 'uninspiring' artwork, consists of eleven songs and is just three quarters of an hour in length - which is just the way I like my CDs! Ten to twelve songs with a duration of around 45 mins. is quite adequate I think. These days, too many include more tracks and go on for far longer, and instead of simply getting more for your money, as a result, one is not so tempted to play them again so soon as a consequence...

An unusual sound that will probably make me want to purchase more CDs from this group.
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Format: Audio CD
Sweden's comma-phobic Peter Bjorn And John will probably be familiar to you as the makers of 'Young Folks', which will no doubt have soundtracked your summer in some way. You may even have a 'Young Folks moment', when this fantastic song first entered your world (mine is hearing it blasting out of a car as I stumbled into the Dour Festival). Recently awarded five gleaming stars on this site thanks to its obscene levels of cool and catchiness, like many massive debut hits it renders the album automatically disappointing. But even if nothing can hit that track's whistle-assited levels of joy, 'Writer's Block' can certainly not be accused of flogging its winning formula. It is, thankfully, an eclectic showcase of their pop knack in a number of guises rather than ten more songs to flesh out their signature track.

Their first album for new label Wichita, there are more than enough finely-crafted gems to keep Peter Bjorn And John on the radar for a while yet. They are already masters of indie-pop, adding shoegazy walls of noise to 'Objects Of My Affection' and writing lovelorn beauties like 'Paris 2004' ("I'm all about you/You're all about me/We're all about each other"), the kind of song so sweet and laid-back it's almost depressing to listen to at any time other than Summer. The balance is almost perfect in places, like 'Start To Melt''s girl-group lyrics and Spector-esque wall of sound, or 'Up Against The Wall''s gentle but emotive build-up into epic status. They've also developed a couple of trademarks, with a number of tracks featuring whistling tucked away amongst the noise (rather than centre stage), and Peter's achingly cool vocals, complete with elongated vowels, are pleasingly distinctive.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I purchased this on a whim, only on the basis of hearing one song, the price of the album was not bad on Amazon. And I had one of those moments that you stick the cd in and the album and songs absorb you instantly, well crafted tunes and lyrics but at the same time quite different. The songs Objects of my affection & the young folks immediately stand out and so then you get sucked into the the rest of the album. This album may be a slow burner to some but wouldn't surprise me if it gains momentum in the future I hope so as the cd is great.
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 April 2007
Format: Audio CD
Swedish pop group Peter Bjorn and John are apparently trying to confuse us, and for a brief time, it works.

Their third album "Writer's Block" has the misfortune to open on a rather saggy note, but fortunately hoists itself up for a blurry blend of indiepop and northern atmospheric synth. So straggle through the first two tracks, because the indiepop that follows is solid, multilayered and quite enjoyable.

It opens with a faint, atmospheric little track that sounds like Sigur Ros tuning up. Then suddenly it careens into nonstop guitar pop in "Object of My Affection," with drums pounding right over those steely riffs. "And you still can make sense/if you just show up and present an honest face/instead of that grin," Peter Morén sings happily.

Not only is it a lot simpler than the other songs, but I got a headache from those relentless drums and guitar. At that point I was groaning, anticipating a whole album of the same. But I was wrong.

Things start perking up with the shimmying, sunny indiepop of "Young Folks," which has some enchantingly feathery edges and constant whistling. The other songs have a similar mix of shimmery keyboard and solid indiepop -- thumpy little marches, swirling psychedelic hymns, gentle ballads blooming into driving guitarpop, folksy ballads, and the shimmering prettiness of "The Chills."

For your info, there is no Peter Bjorn -- it's actually "Peter, Bjorn and John," three Swedish guys who play the instruments and all provide vocals. And despite a couple of mediocre songs on "Writer's Block," these guys really know how to make great indiepop -- lots of northern wind and snow, and a delightfully sunny 1970s pop mentality.
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