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on 26 October 2009
A one-woman band , El Perro Del Mar's self-tittled debut is a collection of Sarah Assbring's fragile lullabies and uplifting pop gems . There's a wounded beautty in this woman's voice . On " People " she sounds like a little child who just had a fight with her best friend while on "This Loneliness " you just wanna hug her and tell her everything will be alright always . The gift for melody doesn't abandon her on the quick-tempo tracks either with " God Knows ( You Gotta Give To Get ) " and " I Can't talk about it " being a particular treat! This is classy , well-crafted sweet sweet sadness . Like Stina Nordenstam's " The World Is Saved " and Righteous Boy's " I Sing Because Of You " , this is another album by a swedish artist destined to became a largely unheard melancholic classic . Anyone reading this text should pick this one right up .
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VINE VOICEon 19 May 2006
If Sarah Craknell of St Etienne was suddenly to immerse herself in the doo wop girl group classicism of the fifties/ sixties, with the contemporary nous of "Toe Rag" records in conjunction with Angelo Badalamenti she might just make an album that sounds like this. If that idea has crossed her mind she should jettison it right now because El Perro Del Mar has beaten her to it and more importantly done a fine job of it too.

The reason I mention Sarah Craknell is there is a purity about Del Mars vocals that brings to mind the singer of pop maestros St Etienne. But there is a constant ever widening crack of melancholy traversing this album. The instrumentation is pretty minimalist, with airily strummed guitar, gentle brushes of percussion, subtle flicks of finger popping and the omnipresent cooing backing vocals. Del Mar as well writing the songs and playing most of the instruments herself (Saxophone and some percussion is provided by session musicians) has also produced the album, giving it a grainy but symphonic sheen.

Quibbles could be raised about the lack of dynamic range in the songs - they all follow a similar pattern with oft repeated phrases encompassing the lyrics and are mono tempo- and her voice too is deficient of variety but they are all lovely and carry an emotional depth that transcends mere affectation. "Candy" the opening track lays down the blues-print for the album from the off with some gorgeous harmonies and her own exigent approximation of an old largely discarded genre. "Party" "God Knows (You Gotta Give To Get)", "Dog" and her cover of Alexander Nilsson's "Here Comes That Feeling" are all sumptuous pop music with a hidden epidermis of textured detail. "It's All Good" as that title would suggest is so upbeat it would make Timmy Mallet balk. It's juxtaposed by the lushly morose "This Loneliness", a song that takes the vows for a marriage between happy and sad.

Like fellow Swede Annie El Perro Del Mar has an instinctive grasp on the nettle of pop, but where Annie is all about the tumultuous fizz of the moment Del Mar is a more reflective mature patron of pops arts. It also brings opposing forces to bear, the luscious joy of the sound with the diametric weight of life and its less than salubrious moments. Annie s buzz is all about here and now but is soon forgotten. El Perro Del Mar will, I suspect, linger in your head and heart for some time longer.
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on 9 April 2008
This has a lovely early St Etienne 60's type sound. It is simply lovely and very beautiful, delicate, and kinda sad at times too with her sweet delicate little voice. And it has lovely backing vocals too. What really knocks me out about it is how original it is. There, is nothing else out there quite like it. It raises my hopes that some musicians, like El Perro Del Mar, take no influence from modern trends and just do what they love. This means that occasionally something truly special comes up and stands out from the the boring typical rock/pop that so prevailent today. And she plays most of the instruments too. I'm really looking forward to her new album.
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on 12 May 2006
A left-field indie pop gem mixing elements of Julie Cruise, Kate Bush and Fifties girl groups to create something uniquely exquisite. In the long tradition of sweetly melodic music undercut with darker lyrics, many of the songs here are suffused with a beautiful melancholia and are really quite heartbreaking. Personal favourites are 'This Loneliness' and 'Dog'. This album is something to treasure. And what a fantastic cover.
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on 4 August 2010
This sound is a strange new place out of the past. Look at that face, for heaven's sake. The journey it takes you on is short and intense and full of hope.
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on 2 April 2007
I bought this CD on, basically, the advice of a load of reviewers and listeners that I didn't know. And boy am I glad of that fact now. That said, who am I? Anyway, I'll be brief. This is one more example of Scandinavians trying to cut and paste their way into emotional credibility by pastiching episodes in pop music history they have no business aping. Half of the tracks on this stand-off-ish, sytlistic cut and past-athon are drawn 60's and 70's "la la la lahhing" and other peoples paraphenalia. We are not, today, in some post-modern reappraisal of lollipop, going to discover the anguish and trauma of failed romance. The audience demands more than your scrap book notes. I'll not go on. I really would not buy this if you want more from your music than H&M. I give it 2 stars for starting and finishing a project.
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