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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 21 November 2009
Miike Snow's debut confronts me with curiosity. Compiled of two pop-producers and experimental singer/songwriter Andrew Wyatt, I'm not exactly sure what to expect. Based upon their single `Animal', however, I was optimistic and the Swedish three-piece didn't let me down. Although producing an unmistakeably Scandinavian sound, their American front man, Wyatt, gives each song charisma with his tender and forgivably Auto-Tuned vocals. Meanwhile his two colleagues (known better as Bloodshy & Avant, and for co-producing Britney Spears' `Toxic') create gentle yet catchy synth melodies that make me press the repeat button subconsciously. Both `Animal' and `Burial' are destined pop-synth hits, the latter capable of easily slotting into Animal Collective's latest offering. `Silvia' is a six-minute sensation, and for me, the album's standout track whilst `A Horse Is Not A Home' highlights the lyrical wit Wyatt brings to the table, "Oh God I think I'm dying / And our drinks were just poured" being my favourite line. The album carries both pop sensibility and lyrical charm, and whilst some tracks are definite `growers', others are `showers' that complete a successful debut that will satisfy most listeners' expectations. 4/5.
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on 22 October 2009
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.
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on 21 March 2010
Miike snow has come up with a collection of strong songs that gradually grow on you. If you're like me and like your music to be indie and a tad on the down side, then you'll like this because A:it gives you that down fix that you need in tracks such as Sans Soleil and Silvia and B: there are brighter, Beach Boyesque type moments throughout the rest of the album, because you know a change is as good as a rest and this is a fantastic change. I know you'll already have Delphic,MGMT & EOTS on your MP3 so check out Miike Snow and while you are at it, Groove Armada's Black Light for a similar musical experience.
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Nothing wrong with this at all.
Scandinavia's musical renaissance continues to blossom unabated.
Not unlike Scotland good sounds have been pouring out of
just about every possible creative orifice imaginable this year.

This phenomenon can surely not be understood by the
former's ingestion of vast amounts of fish oil alone
(this notion would be clearly contradicted by our Celtic neighbours'
preponderently carnivorous disposition - not to mention those
deep fried Mars Bars!)

The configuration of the constellations above The Northern Lands,
however, are clearly auspicious at this time.

Miike Snow are a perfectly splendid little ensemble.
The efforts of singer/songwriter Andrew Wyatt when combined
with the production skills of Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg
(a candidate for The Wolf's 'Name Of The Year' Award!) are
certainly more than worthy of our attention

That they have been compared to A-Ha by at least one august chronicle is
a thoroughly unwarrantable notion which we would do well to disregard!
(Unlike their Norwegian cousins Miike Snow are making
some entirely credible and enjoyable music).
Animal Collective analogies also quickly wear thin.

The band demonstrates a light and accessible pop-sensibility
running confidently through this effortlessly coherent debut.

'Animal' is a strong opening number. The slippery melody winding
in and around the chorus is as delightful as it is memorable.

'Silvia' is a slower-paced composition which builds gradually through
the six-and-a-bit minute course of its life on earth towards an
emotionally uplifting conclusion. The electronic treatment of Mr Wyatt's
fine vocal adds a magically elusive dimension to the song.

'A Song For No One' sports a naively charming tune played out over
a skittering beat and mercurial guitar motif which made me think
of Tom Tom Club for a moment or three. Light as a feather.

'Black and Blue' pumps out some bigger beats and mildly dirty synth lines
but delivered with a gentle touch. The music is never too dense for us
not to discern its luminous inner structure.

For my money 'Sans Soleil' is the best of the bunch.
Innate musicality, subtle electronica and modest ambition
unite in a composition of glowing harmonic splendour.

'A Horse Is Not A Home' made me laugh and
'Plastic Jungle' is a retro-glam-rock hoot!

'Faker' is small but perfectly formed. A lovely little no-frills song.

All-in-all a very fine album.

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on 25 November 2009
I simply wish more albums like this could be made, but then they wouldn't be as amazing as this is if they were. From the well received single 'Black & Blue' to quite unheard tracks like 'Plastic Jungle' this album has music of the very highest caliber to suit almost any tastes. If you are questioning whether to purchase this, then purchase this, you just won't be able to regret it.
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on 28 December 2012
I bought their 2nd album first - please see my review of Miike Snow's 'Happy To You'. And am completely obsessed with their sound. I am a BBC6 Music convert, love quality music and buy over a 100 CD's a year. This band is my find of the year, and it's starting to annoy the wife. Buy both albums, and join the club!
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on 23 October 2009
Having read what seemed to be loads of articles in the music press about Miike Snow I was initially not too keen on the album (apart from the opening tracks) BUT a few listens in the car and it has grown on me big style.
Clear comparisons to Empire of The Sun but in the middle tracks it is like listening to Joseph Arthur at his best with superb lyrics and equally good arrangements.
Burial and Animal are stand out tracks immediately but Horse Is Not A Home and Cult Logic are real 'growers'.
Highly recommended if you are still mulling over a possible purchase.
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on 22 September 2010
I heard this album in a shop and just had to ask who it was by. Fantastic electro sounds, memorable lyrics and no fluffy female vocals.
A great blend of moody and melodic - perfect listening for any time of day.
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on 15 August 2009
After having heard 'A Horse is Not a Home' and then seeing Miike Snow at Lollapalooza I was interested in getting the album as they were one of the highlights for me at Lollapalooza. The album does not disappoint! The whole album is dance orientated but there is an indie twist in there too. Apparently Miike Snow are one American and 2 Swedes.

HIghlight tracks are 'A Horse is Not a Home', 'Burial', 'Song for No-One', 'Cult Logic', 'Plastic Jungle'. The dance beats flow through with a heavy bass in all the songs and that will be the Miike Snow trademark but it works very, very well live! Well worth a listen if you are looking for something a bit different.
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on 5 November 2009
As it says excellent CD!! Just when I was looking for something a little different to listen to along comes Miike Snow. Difficult to pigeonhole, which is never a bad thing, there are elements of Dance, Indie, Electro-pop and there is even a kind of soulful-ness running through the album. Laden with hooks, the album opens with the quirky single 'Animal', however this is one of these albums where almost all the tracks could be singles. Highlights include the gorgeous 'Silvia', the beautifully understated 'Sans Soleil' with it's shuffling Bossa Nova rhythm, 'Black and Blue' and the Techno sounding 'In Search Of..'Not heard an album this good in ages.
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