Monday, May 4, 2009

over and over by the legends

Again with the Labrador Records posts? I'd lie and say it's not an addiction, that I can quit anytime I want. But why?

The Legend's newest release, Over and Over, (out stateside June 16th1), with its first single "Seconds Away" touted as "the nosiest pop single to ever come out of Sweden," is another tasty treat. Of course, this is to be expected from the hardest working musician in the Swedish pop scene, Johan Angergård (who, in a remarkable feat of overachieving, also fronts Club 8 and The Acid House Kings in addition to co-owning Sweden's answer to SubPop).

Dipping his fingers into multiple musical pies, along with the several-year break between albums, has paid off. Throughout Over and Over, one can hear elements of Angergård's other projects -- from the Club 8-with-reverb "Turn Away" to tracks that sparkle with a undeniable pop sensibility like the Acid-House-Kings-set-to-electronics "Monday to Saturday," to the decidedly Legends "Dancefloor," the album successfully sparkles with a something-for-everyone feel that never dilutes its overall power. Yes, it is a bit all over the board, but again, tasty. The Whitman's Sampler of the electro world if you will.

The single's claim to noise holds true for the first third of the record, much of it so washed in loud feedback that my dog refused to say in the same room. (She's much more of a Club 8 fan.) While after few listens I too discovered moments where I couldn't help but agree with my dog, there's also a distinct and pleasing progression from the loud to the gentle. What starts out as an ode to angst, including "He Knows the Sun" sequel "Always the Same," slowly gives way to a sunny take on sadness. By the time one hits the shoegazy reverb and fuzzed out titular track, it's easy to imagine that if M83 mastermind Anthony Gonzalez fell in love with the Beach Boys rather than Molly Ringwald, we could have been living Saturdays = Youth, Over and Over.

While fitting into The Legends canon of change, the notable difference here is a distinct chipper spirit. Over and Over's tone is significantly removed from the melancholy stance of previous Legends records2. As Angergård himself put it, "I recorded this album as a cure for angst, so it's certainly a mixed blessing that it turned out so bloody good that I will suffer of anxiety for years trying to surpass it."

Surely, this is the sort of problem every musician longs to suffer from.

Got angst? Stream Over and Over here.

1. I know, it's early for us Americans, but there's always mail order beginning May 6th.
2. Does disco still suck?

mp3: "Seconds Away" by The Legends

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