Okay, so here's the deal. I listened to this for the first time while cleaning my bathroom today. I think I might still be high from the bleach/cleaner fumes because the fan doesn't work. I'm not knocked out loopy, but the ventilation sucks. Upon starting the music, I was wondering about how the album would sound. I can't remember what lead me to get it. I don't know if I saw it on Pitchfork or a song was played during a TV show I like. Whatever the case, this is my impression of the album.
First - DO NOT CALL YOURSELVES "ACID HOUSE KINGS" IF YOU DON'T PLAY ELECTRO!!! Sorry, for yelling but I just had to say it. You can't be a pop band and call yourself a techno band name. I mean, for reals, "acid house?" You couldn't come up with something better? Would you listen to a pop band named "Whore Beater?" Well, you say you don't but I say you listen to Chris Brown, so...Face!! You wouldn't listen to a christian rock group called "Whitey is Rightey?" No, you wouldn't because you would assume with a title like that it would be a hate rock band. I'm just saying, the band name is way off base.
Secondly - It is a pop rock album. The band started in the early 90s, but this albums music follows in the footsteps of Camera Obscura, a little bit of Phoenix, and others similar. Not to say it's a bad theme to follow, but there seems to be little variation in some of the originality. The band is pretty decent. I wouldn't say I would run to see them, but I could see their music being used in a tv show/movie to help set the light-hearted mood. I'm not a big "pop" fan, but I'm sure we'll see more in the future.
As for the album, it's not too bad. The arrangements seem pretty standard, but the band finds a way to provide some shine of it's own. The lead female vocal, Julia Lannerheim, has a wonderfully soothing voice. You find yourself being relaxed and calmed throughout the album. The problem that I have the whole time I listen to her voice it that I keep thinking of a different singer or band. I just can't put my finger on who it is. That's the problem with pop bands, you find yourself reminded of others more than focusing on the present band. Whether it's the lead from Camera Obscura or Regina Spektor, I'm not sure.
The album starts with "Are We Lovers or Are We Friends." I don't know if this is the world's introduction to the friendzone anthem or not, but it should be. The only problem with this question is that you know, you just don't want to accept the answer. It has a Rooney-esc sound, which is pretty nice. It's very catchy and I kind of like it. "Windshield" follows and keeps up with the tradition of late 2000s pop sound. For me there isn't much of a highlight to this, "Would You Say Stop," or "Under Water."
The song that I actually enjoy the most is "(I'm in a) Chorus Line." It reminds me of a song I know, but I like that this separates itself from it. I'm attracted to the catchiness of the piano keys and the periodic flute(?). The lyrics are simple and poetic. They come across with a nice range and are sung beautifully.
"There is Something Beautiful," comes a couple tracks down and starts with a hope but does not come through the way I thought it would. With more focus on the vocals at the beginning, I thought, maybe prayed a bit, for a mellower "rough relationship" song. Instead, the drums start and pick up the up tempo of the beat. Dammit.
All in all, I should have paid more attention to the album title more than the band name. "Music Sounds Much Better With You" should have been more of a give away than anything else. While a whole album of the same sound is very aggravating, I actually liked one or two tracks. I don't know when I will ever really listen to this again. I do know that if I am in the mood for pop music, I can always throw this on, or at least make a mix tape with it involved.
ps- just make sure you have a better band name, please.
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