The Concretes Enhanced
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The Concretes' superb eponymous debut is the product of a long and complicated history. The Stockholm-based group started life as an all-girl trio, but has since expanded to a larger concern with eight core members and a floating crew of backing singers, harpists, violinists and cellists. Corralling such a large cast into anything like a coherent vision is no easy task, but it's one that the Concretes manage with some aplomb on a consistently spectacular album. The sound conjured by the Concretes' orchestra, unlikely though it might seem, owes most to Mazzy Star and the Velvet Underground. There's also an affinity for Motown, demonstrated by the titles "Diana Ross" and "You Can't Hurry Love" (not a cover version) and by a knack for wedding simple pop tunefulness to complex musical arrangements. Mostly, however, the mood is one of studied, luxuriant gloom. All the Concretes' songs even the more upbeat ones, are conveyed with a similar tone of lachrymose sincerity, and the languid, slurring drawl of Concretes vocalist Victoria Bergsman is evocative of both Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval and the Velvets' ice-maiden collaborator Nico. --Andrew Mueller
Top Customer Reviews
To call "The Concretes" awesome is an understatement!
They mix lush rythms and wistful pop hooks not unlike The Cure and Belle & Sebastien at the height of there powers!!
There are also tinges of Air, Rokysopp and Jem mixed in... that draw you deeper into the music.
The tunes melt into each other with effortless ease and embrace you in those personal moments we all have when we tune out.
The entire collection is slightly melancholy and has a wonderfully invective feel.
I can only say that this group, will in my view, be a long term success and deserve great acclaim & credit for a note-worthy debut!!
Sweden has produced yet another gem!
You Can't Hurry Love and Say Something new are particularly fab.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I heard that the band used something like 24 people to record this album, and that's what it sounds like. It sounds like a bunch of good friends (talented Swedish friends) got together in each other's living rooms and made a sparkling, elegant pop album.
My favorite song on the album is probably still Say Something New (the one from the comercial), but the next two are wonderful too. Can't Hurry Love is a fun driving song with a great hook about...well, read the title. And I believe the next song Chico is an ode to the singer's cat, but it's basically just a song about how nice it is to have a friend when a romance has failed. Foreign Country is a great song too, as are the whole collection.
If you like bands like Sigur Ros, Coldplay, Beck (Sea Change style), The Innocence Mission, The Flaming Lips, all glittering semi-sad pop, you might really enjoy this record.