- Audio CD (19 Mar. 2012)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Columbia
- ASIN: B006OW0P12
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,477 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Happy to You CD
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Happy To You
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In 2009, Miike Snow released their self-titled debut album much to the acclaim of critics and fans around the world, Miike Snow's "Animal" found it's way into movies, commercials, dance floors and hearts, to became the ode of a generation. Happy To You is the highly anticipated follow-up on Columbia Records. On their sophomore effort, Andrew Wyatt, Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg draw from some of the most influential moments in pop, rock and electronic music to create a sonically grandiose and haunting sound, an opus extending into the deep, dark and magical crevices of a wild imagination. Alongside all the fine-tuning and familiar sounds, the album also features full orchestras, brass sections and marching bands.
On making the new record and the evolution of Miike Snow's sound, Pontus Winnberg states, "Before this album, we were an idea. This time we were a band. And this time, we had paid our dues; we’d toured in 27 countries for 18 months. When we came in to make Happy To You, we came in as a unit, and emotionally for us that makes a huge difference. And hopefully you can hear it."
Recorded in various studios throughout Sweden and self-produced by the band, Miike Snow's follow up is a complete and cohesive response to their widely well-received debut album. Swedish artist and director Andreas Nilsson also signed on for the campaign to visually bring the idea of what the Jackalope represents and Miike Snow's vision for the future to fruition.
There was always something contrived about Miike Snow beyond their annoying name, a part-tribute to maverick Japanese film director Takashi Miike. Perhaps it was that they seemed to be a side-project studio collaboration between a couple of Swedes who'd bashed out hits for Britney Spears (including the mighty Toxic) and an American chum of Mark Ronson. That their self-titled debut album was a fluffy, albeit highly enjoyable, piece of dancey fun hardly assuaged the doubts that Miike Snow were merely an audio business card, existing primarily for its members to secure more remixing and writing work.
Then, something odd happened. Seemingly taken over by the sheer giddiness of being Miike Snow, the threesome toured the world like men possessed (or at least like a bog-standard rock band), playing venues small to medium as well as festivals. They seemed to have found their calling. Unsurprisingly, this breathless sense of surprised joy underpins their appositely titled second album. Indeed, were there a poll for Nicest Album of 2012, it would be hard to see too far beyond Happy to You.
Infinitely more coherent and infinitely more innovatively produced than the debut, Happy to You is a bold, brassy (literally on The Devil's Work) statement of intent. It's full of tips of the hat to all sorts of unlikely sources, from Enter The Jokers Lair threatening to break into Argentine Melody (Cancion de Argentina), Rod Argent's 1978 World Cup theme, to Vase's homage to The Cure's Close to You, via The Devil's Work introducing itself in the stentorian manner of Foreigner's Cold as Ice.
Lovingly crafted slivers of inspiration abound. The ever-welcome Lykke Li pops up with a haunting vocal on the epically distorted Black Tin Box, which merges twiddly synthesisers with Nine Inch Nails-esque percussion, while the baroque keyboards which suddenly lurch into Pretender offer a moment of scarf-waving impishness.
Right now, they may desperately need the hit which will propel them into the mainstream, but Miike Snow are in a better place then they even they could have expected and Happy to You is a greater leap forwards than we could have expected them to make. It's a delight.
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Top customer reviews
The beginning of `Enter The Joker's Lair' is captivating, the strange effects sucked me in. It's floaty and reminds me of an ice-cream truck or fairground ride, with arpeggios galore it's enchanting. So sickly sweet it's ridiculous but there's a darkness behind Miike Snow that is just waiting to be uncovered. `The Wave' uses distorted vocals, basic piano chords and a steady drum beat - this simplicity works so well and is a trademark of this new album. The falsetto `oooh's create a hook that's impossible to ignore & the charm of the distortion is irresistable. Not the best lyricist in the world, Miike Snow makes up for this in pumping electronica and fun music. `God Help This Divorce' is dark and moody but at the same time it's alluring and the chorus echo `She was a beauty queen, but I held her down' is beautifully sung.
`Bavarian #1 (Say You Will)' is by far my favourite from Happy To You - the chorus melody is addictive and futile to resist. Perfectly constructed and an unmistakable stand-out track from the album - definitely a hit you'd see hundreds jumping to at a gig. `Black Tin Box' features Lykke Li (a swedish singer-songwriter) but this song is weak & her sultry vocals don't do a whole lot for an already average song.
Overall this album may not have the best floorfillers or the most innovative electronica you've ever heard, but it's pretty damn good. Miike Snow has crafted a fantastically ingenuitive collection of hits, proving to be my favourite album of 2012 so far.
The sort of yelping into to Enter the Jokers Lair is not an auspicious start. Within 30 seconds however, a twinkling little synth noise emerges, grows, and runs away with the song. It's delightful. Second track The Wave sets the palette for what's to come - a martial beat, piano riff and a bed of synths, with glossy treated vocals over the top.
The pace doesn't drop off as the album progresses either. Bavarian #1 has fabulous dueling synths that segue into strings, a military rolling drumbeat and whistling, and the distinctive vocal distortion that defines Miike Snow's sound. Pretender employs the same trick in the chorus, while a bass sax grumbles away in the background.
For me the only dud is Black Tin Box, for it's rambling vocals. "I bought you a black tin box" mumbles Andrew Wyatt, "...but it struck me as the property of the childless." Really? Then again, I've heard others say that with its darker tone, that's their favourite track, so each to their own.
What I appreciate about Miike Snow is the depth of production. The songs are catchy and immediate, but repeat listens reveal little musical touches and new layers. There's always more going on beneath the surface.
I wouldn't want the appeal of this album to be too accessible and too easy to like for some, but both of my son's (I'm in my mid-forties) now play this album to death. It turns out that the last track 'Paddling Out' features on the xBox FIFA 2013 game, so the boys were actually familiar with Miike Snow before me - "Come on Dad - Keep Up!"
So there you go, just buy it, you'll love it. But do not over play it, my wife has put a 7 day ban on this album - too much risk of over exposure? I'll have to buy their first album now.
All in an enjoyable second offering from Miike Snow. I am sure these songs will sound great live. Well worth a listen.
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