The Sounds | Something To Die For

SideOneDummy (2011)
By MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER  |  March 31, 2011
2.5 2.5 Stars

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The recent news that British electronic act Faithless have called it a day no doubt left dejected ravers reaching for extra MDMA to stave off the tears. Well, don't put away your glow sticks just yet, kids — the Sounds have your fix. Something To Die For has the Swedish dance/pop outfit awkwardly dipping a toe into the pool of trance music. It's not as if the synths hadn't been a major component on the three albums prior, and there has always been a nightclub vibe, but this ratchets it up enough notches to where the keyboard element sometimes dominates, and not always in a good way. "Shake Hands with the Devil" and the title track lose their way in the over-the-top and uncharacteristic pulsations. Most glaring is the lack of hooks — something these Scandinavians have delivered effortlessly on songs like "Dance with Me" and "Hurt You." It's frontwoman Maja Ivarsson who averts disaster: her spitfire delivery salvages some of the more conventional lyrics, and when settling into a ballad like "Wish You Were Here," she manages to come off as not just pensive but vulnerable and honest.

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