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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Track-by-Track: Linda Sundblad - Manifest

Linda Sundblad released one of the finest pop albums of the past few years with 2006's Oh My God. It's been a long time coming for her second solo outing, and although it doesn't quite match the first release track for track, there are some definite pop classics here.

1. Intro (Choice) - It’s billed as an intro, but it’s more like a short song. Honestly, I don’t know what it’s supposed to be introducing, as it sounds different than almost everything that follows. An atmospheric slow-jam, it’s a strange choice to open the album. Thankfully the quality goes up from here. 6/10

2. Making Out - This pop/rock track hearkens back to her Lambretta days. I can’t say this is entirely a good thing, since Sundblad really came into her own after leaving her band, but this is an enjoyable uptempo track with an 80’s feel. 7/10

3. Let’s Dance - The album really kicks into gear starting here. Doing a 360, this is a total electronic dance track with a surging chorus. It’s not exactly what you’d expect from Sundblad, but it (mostly) works. 9/10

4. It’s Alright! - A completely happy, bubbly pop song in the vein of Madonna’s Cherish. There are some beautiful vocal additions in the second verse and the entire thing reestablishes Sundblad’s allegiance to pure pop. This will be great in the Summer. 10/10

5. Perfect Nobody - Coming after one of the happiest sounding songs, this ballad sounds a bit dreary. I’m not sure it’s single-material, even though it’s been chosen as the next release. I like it, but it just feels like there’s something missing in the melody. 7/10

6. 2 All My Girls - The template of what a perfect Linda Sundblad pop song should sound like. This is so far beyond anything else on the album that it ends up sticking out as the centerpiece. One of Max Martin’s best pop songs (and that’s saying something). 10/10

7. Serotonin - A dance track about going out and having a good time (a “dancing is fun!” track, if you will). It’s set over a very 90’s style beat and piano-line and certainly works, though I’m not as gaga over it as some people seem to be. 8/10

8. Suicide Girl - An amusingly dark track that has more of a funky swing to it than others. The chorus is ridiculously catchy, to the point where I either love or hate it depending on the day. 8/10

9. Pick Up The Pieces - The late album masterpiece. The verses are nothing special, but the driving chorus, with its dramatic synths and anthemic melody certainly is. I would choose this as a single, and fast. 10/10

10. Damage - I always forget this song is on the record, which should tell you something. Actually, it’s not that bad… just a little subdued compared to the others. It has a really nice hook, but kind of comes and goes. 7/10

11. History - Her collaboration with producer Kleerup, this track has been around for awhile now so isn’t anything new. Being more electronic than everything else, it sticks out and feels like it’s been tacked on to the end of the record (as it has). It’s still a nice track, if not particularly memorable. 7/10

Album Grade: 8.1/10

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3 Comments:

Blogger undisco_me said...

I think she's really found her stride on this record, and that it actually surpasses her debut seemlessly, but then it's not doing so great...

4:00 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

it's alright is the definite highlight for me. i can't stop playing it. Quite heavenly in fact :)

11:12 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

It doesn't seem to be selling all that well, though there were many many copies in stock at every record store I visited last week.

3:38 AM  

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