Monday, August 4, 2008

hummingbird, go! by theresa andersson

Alright...I'll admit it. I pulled Theresa Andersson's debut album Hummingbird, Go! (available 9/2) from our "listen to" pile because, well...she's Swedish. This ethnocentric favoritism should surprise no one. Sometimes though, I just have to shake my head at my own predictability.

Of course, nationality aside, this is where the similarities to Andersson's countrymen contemporaries begin and end. Produced and written by The Would-Be Hipsters' favorite self-proclaimed "indie ass" Tobias Fröberg, this is a surprisingly sweet, highly accessible affair, deeply rooted in American doo-wop tradition, sprinkled with hand claps, and dusted with a hint of Spectoresque girl group vocal layers. In the time it took you to read that last overextended, language-snob sentence, you could have easily sussed out the "deeper meanings" to any one of the catchy songs: Be content, love each other, and, in the album opener "Na Na Na," quit buying crap you don't actually need! I swore to myself I wasn't going to play the nationality card for the rest of the review...but do you ever get the feeling we should really consider opening up the American presidency to a foreigner?

The instrumentation is, quite simply, summer. Yes, I'm going out on a limb here and personify the entire season as a series of percussive, occasionally lo-fi kitchen recordings featuring such musically important instruments as the spoons and a damp rim of a wine glass. In an alternate universe - one where I was born with a sense of rhythm- this would be me, my years irritating my parents with the wine glass trick at dinner parties finally paying off.

Hummingbird, Go! 's strength lies in its more upbeat songs. While beautiful, songs like "Innan Du Gar " and "God's Highway" (the former featuring the talented Norwegian performer Ane Brun, the latter an otherwise sweet duet with Fröberg) simply don't measure up to the certain je ne sais quoi that has me taking my eyes off traffic to push repeat on songs like the ode to wander-lust "Japanese Art" or the magic-drenched "Locusts Are Gossiping" or even the stripped down waltz, aptly titled "The Waltz." In all, the album's faults are few, and gems shine with the honesty and fun of a few friends getting together for the sheer joy of making music. Seeing as how that is exactly what this album is, it seems to be the most appropriate description of all. We're just lucky they let us in on the fun.

mp3: "Na Na Na" by Theresa Andersson

1 comment:

Jess said...

oh can never get enough of those swedes! i like it.