Friday, August 21, 2009

Album of the Week: Miike Snow friighteningly good

When choosing my album of the week candidate, a record usually just “bubbles up,” whether it’s an anticipated new release or an album that has had so many good tracks floating around that the whole thing must be discovered. It’s the latter case with the self-titled album from mysterious, Peter-Bjorn-and-John-meets-MGMT Swedish trio (yes, trio), Miike Snow. I’ve heard several of the CD’s tracks over the last few months (including song-of-the-year pick “Animal,” the sneaky good “Burial,” and the PB&J-ish shuffle of “Song for No One”), but it wasn’t until I caught “Black & Blue” on Zane Lowe’s show that Miike Snow went from curiosity to commitment. Those four excellent tracks (along with another four-star treat “Silvia”) comprise the first five songs of the album, so the rest of the CD has a lot to live up to. And despite the top-notch, Steely Dan electro track “A Horse Is Not a Home,” the second half suffers. But overall, the pop masters behind Miike Snow (two thirds of which consist of the production team behind Britney Spears’ surprisingly critically acclaimed “Toxic”), have designed a record high on listenability. B+

Miike Snow: Animal (from KEXP Song of the Day)
from the album Miike Snow

And for more new sounds, make sure to subscribe to my latest podcast, JeffMix2009.07.26 (also on iTunes), featuring music from Regina Spektor, Rancid, Jamie T, The Rumble Strips, Mos Def, and Maxïmo Park, among others.

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