Monday, September 22, 2008

introducing the best of by montt mardié

I cannot take a man seriously if he's a)Speedo-clad, b)holding a crayola-colored drink with a tiny umbrella, or c)singing excessively in falsetto. While I don't consider the first two to necessarily be to my detriment (quite the opposite actually), chances are "c" has caused me to miss out on more than a few compelling musical artists. Thankfully, Montt Mardié (pronounced mar-dee-yay), who's non-music goals include "make[ing] a frame-by-frame remake of ‘When Harry Met Sally’ with him playing the role of Harry," doesn't ask that you discover the meaning of life though his music - only that you listen.

Full disclosure: there is currently no USA release date for Introducing the Best Of. I hate when people run stories about artists and forget to mention this important little fact. Thanks for getting me excited over nothing. Jerks. However, both of Mardié's previous efforts, Clocks/Pretender and Drama, are available on both iTunes and eMusic. Buy them both and cherry pick your own favorites. Yes, that is an order.

For those who aren't flush, or are simply looking to test the waters, Introducing the Best Of is a strong introduction to Sweden's latest golden boy. Weeding out multiple versions ("Smile Charlie" finds a home on the album, bumping the less compelling, nearly identical "Bag of Marbles"), we're left with seventeen single-worthy pop gems. Turns out falsetto isn't such a bad thing - I can sing along!

And sing I do. The world Mardié lives in is hopelessly cinematic, even when singing about his own romantic ineptitude. Somewhere between pleading to have his name written in the clouds after his death and asking the untouchable girl next door to the prom, Mardié still finds time to duet with fellow Swedish musical royalty Hello Saferide and Jens Lekman, again lending credence to the belief that all that musicians in Sweden do is sit around in rooms together being made of awesome. It's a rough life, as evidenced by the aforementioned smooth-as-silk falsetto. (I know, I know, this is the third time I've mentioned it, but the sweetness of his lyrics is directly proportional to the unnerving quality of the boy's range.)

There's a name for this type of music. A name that I've been violently shoving to the back of my mind as repeated Introducing the Best Of listenings have threatened to bring it forward, allowing it to spill over my lips and escape into the world. Oh how the truth burns! Here it goes.... What Montt Mardié has created is boy band music. But, it's boy band music at its hookiest, ear-wormiest finest. There. I said it. Oh heck, grab me a stool and get the guy in the Speedo to order me one of whatever he's drinking. I'll be here awhile.

mp3: "Set Sail Tomorrow" by Montt Mardié
mp3: "New York" by Montt Mardié

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