Once when I was in college, I lazily washed a pan by burying it in the snow. When the snow melted in the spring, the pan was clean. The same holds true for Miike Snow, the trio whose electronically geared, classic pop is — on their second LP, Happy To You
— as clean as those purifying crystals. Miike Snow's Swedish production team of Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg first won acclaim working on Britney's regal but sonically kooky "Toxic." And though they explore a much gentler space with American vocalist Andrew Wyatt in Miike Snow, their production chops on Happy To You
remain first rate.
Production goodies and rich, reflective vocals abound in this balanced set. Subtly orchestrated deep cuts alternate with straight-ahead hits, such as the soaring "Archipelago," with its brisk drums, picturesque piano, and rhythmically broken enunciation ("arch-i-pel-a-go," say it!). Meanwhile, contemplative electro-orchestral numbers weave in between the more upbeat dance numbers, like "Paddling Out," which brings the best of contemporary beat production to a song that most pop bands could get behind. Whereas some attempts to hybridize indie rock and electronic music are forced or awkward, Miike Snow gets its right by paying as much attention to their uncluttered celestial melodies as they do to their beats.