Your Ad Here

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Private - My Secret Lover
Release Date: October 8, 2007
Label: Universal

Bodies Without Organs - Fabricator
Release Date: September 19, 2007
Label: Capitol/EMI

Scandinavia has always been a mecca for great pop music, but it seems in recent years that the region has exploded into an incredibly reliable machine for interesting, fluorescent bands not ashamed to peddle their shiny brand of pop with the balls out ferocity of true rockstars. Of course, given that the bands I’m writing about now both specialize in old-school dance pop, it’s certainly a different sort of ferocity than you'd find in, say, a punk band. But, that doesn't mean it's not just as valid. In fact, some would argue that it takes more skill to craft music this insanely catchy than it does to exist on attitude alone. One thing is certain, though. Private and Bodies Without Organs are both at the top of their game.

Private is the rookie in this pairing, though the brains behind the new Danish band has been at the pop music game for some time. Masterminding bands like Junior Senior and Superheroes and producing for other Scandinavian acts including Melody Club and the Whyte Seeds, Thomas Troelsen has had his midas touch all over many hits. But, is his new project any good? The answer’s a resounding yes. My Secret Lover, the debut album by Private is, in fact, near perfect. The sound is incredibly focused, recalling a time where Michael Jackson and Madonna ruled the airwaves. The record’s already produced a hit single (the title track, very Junior Senior-esque), but there are other gems also included that are even better. The next single, Crucify My Heart, for example, could be this decade’s Like A Prayer, while Stranger In The Night and We Got Some Breaking Up To Do both recall the best of 80’s Michael Jackson. The tracks on Lover are all concise, dance floor oriented (except for the ballad That Boy Is Hurting You) and aimed straight at the charts. Without fail, they are all magnificent, the only weak one maybe Waiting For Tonight (it’s a bit repetitive). If any album could usher in a resurgence of 80’s fun in the States, I’d put my bets on this one.

Now to another trio, masterminded by another pop maestro. Before working with Bodies Without Organs (BWO), Alexander Bard spearheaded cult pop groups Army Of Lovers and Vacuum, among others. BWO have been riding high in Scandinavia for the past few years and their sound (though varying since their debut) is of the highly plastic variety: simple, straightforward pop songs with incessant beats and an overall air of gaiety (in more than one sense). They have been criticized for steering more pop with their last album, Halycon Nights, but I find that most of their best stuff is in the pop direction. Check out Give Me The Night, for instance, from their new album Fabricator. It couldn’t be poppier… and it couldn’t be better. In fact, even though Fabricator is probably the most instant, commercial release of the band’s short career, it’s also arguably their best. Track for track, it may not be as great as Prototype, but as a whole it is far more consistent than either of their past releases. The best moments come when the band embraces its campy dance floor mystique, such as in the Abba-like opener Last Flight To San Francisco and the flawless We Should Be Dancing. The only weakness of the album is the slower material. While fourth single The Destiny Of Love is stately and gorgeous, Stay With You Again and Paradise On Mars could have been so much better. Still, I’d take them over past duds Rhythm Divine or Crystal Odyssey any day.

My Secret Lover A- Fabricator B+


Blogger Poster Girl said...

That Private album...where to even begin? Something must be in the water in Denmark--that's at least two major revelations from there this year.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


6:22 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home