Wednesday, May 19

The Swedes Won't Stop Making Pop Music, No Matter How Many Small Animals I Kill

Artist: The Radio Dept.
Album: Clinging to a Scheme

Comments: The Swedes make good pop. The Radio Dept. is a Swedish pop band. Put two and two together. Review over.






OK, fine.

Clinging to a Scheme is the band's third album, and it's a dreamy little affair. Their tunes are not forceful or overly-bright as much as they are hazy and warm, free of urgency, with simple, almost lazy hooks. There aren't much drums to speak of, outside the occasional canned computer beat. Still, the lack of percussion suits the light, airy nature of the songs.

The album's best tracks, however, are the ones that are less simple strings of pleasant music and more straight-forward songs. Take, for example, the second single "Heaven's On Fire:"once one gets past the asinine quote about "capitalizing on you youth culture," the song kicks in with flirty guitars and a bouncy, easy keyboard melody that will set twee-hearts a-cuddlin'.

Things are a little childish on Clinging to a Scheme, never getting deeper than the skin, never getting darker than slightly overcast on moodier numbers like "Domestic Scene" and "The Video Dept.," and the sunny disposition of the album can get a little over-bearing at times. Still, its a fine album to just throw on and go about one's day with. It's so sweet and well-made that, when the occasional real song comes along a sticks to the ribs, it feels like an added bonus more than anything else.

And, come on, complaining about the twee-pop record being too cheerful is like complaining about the ocean being too wet.

The Radio Dept.'s latest is well-made, feel-good music for people who like to feel good. By no means a meal, it makes for a fine snack at any hour of the day.

Key Tracks: Domestic Scene, Heaven's on Fire, This Time Around, David

Buy, Steal, Skip: Buy

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