13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Exquisite Glacial Pop!,
This review is from: Miike Snow (Audio CD)
What happens if you mix the quirky intelligence and originality of Band of Horses and Animal Collective with the undeniable pop sensibilities of bands like Passion Pit, Empire of the Sun and Midnight Juggernauts? You get Miike Snow!!! This Swedish three piece first met in 2000 and started recording together in 2007. Two years later the result is the bands self titled debut album.
The album starts with recent single `Animal' which is a simply joyous bit of pop music. It opens with a simple rhythm comprised of bass and keyboards beautifully copying each other in harmony. This beat persists through both verse and chorus creating a continuity and dance atmosphere to the whole composition. The chorus itself is a catchy pop refrain. This is an opening that spells out exactly how Miike Snow intends to make music. `Burial' follows in similar vein with opening keyboard that chimes so happily it's almost unbelievable. It sounds like the crisp cold of fresh snow. The track then swirls into a wonderfully soft and melodic number with brilliant lyrics like "Don't forget to cry at your own burial."
So that's the opening salvo dealt with but that's by no means the highlights. `Silvia' echoes with strong piano lines and a persistent but unobtrusive beat. As the track grows it turns into something halfway between a bit of electro chill-out and pure pop stormer. `Song for No One' is a nothing more than a slice of pure pop, and `Black & Blue', also a recent single, is the standard of music that artists like Sam Sparro should have released. It has a crisp high vocal and synthy fizz and pop quality to the chorus that is exciting and fresh here. `Sans Soleil' is slow and thoughtful to start with a gentle piano part and gently clicking rhythm, but it slowly builds with more intricate piano, hummed backing vocals and wonderful lyrics like " Watching shadows within shadows, hide their dark selves from the sun."
If there is one track that really deserves to be hugely successful its `A Horse is Not a Home'. The rhythm is insistent and engaging. The lyrics are open and at moments almost painfully honest. Nowhere is the truer than in the opening lines of "Oh god, I think I'm dying and our drinks were just poured." There is strangely mournful and anthemic at the same time. It's a masterpiece of bitter sweet pop music. `Cult Logic' then slowly beats like a moment of respite after the wonderment of the previous track. Having said which, the chorus is still full of soaring vocals and fizzing synth. The sound of `Plastic Jungle' matches its name with stomping tribal like beats that drive throughout. The chorus is much simpler than elsewhere on the album but none the less very effective retaining a certain pop atmosphere. This track represents the dark side of Miike Snow. `In Search Of' is probably the weakest track on the album but this doesn't mean it is at a complete loss. The synths buzz nicely and the sound builds gently pushing the listener on. It sounds like the feeling of having lost something without being able to determine what is missing. The album ultimately closes out with `Faker' which starts with simple piano and those vocals once more echoing over the top. Synths whistle at moments throughout as if you are hearing sound bites of a lullaby as they echo on the wind. It gently flows to the end of the first part of Miike Snow's story.
Everything about this album is crisp and precise. It bristles with pop hooks and chilled out electro rhythms. You can only help but wonder whether if this had had a major released before Passion Pit's `Manners' would we have fallen for Miike Snow instead. Either way this is brilliant slice of feel good pop.