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Peter Bjorn and John | Seaside Rock

Almost Gold/Star Time | 2008
By SAM UBL  |  October 1, 2008
2.0 2.0 Stars
A humble album I would’ve dug much more a few years back — when most indie rock couldn’t figure out how not to be overbearing and instrumental albums offered a refreshing escape from the tyranny of pussified vocalists like Ben Gibbard and what’s-his-name from Interpol — Seaside Rock amounts to a log of underhashed production ideas from the test kitchen. It would seem that on the heels of their trademark “Young Folks” (a horizontal hit this correspondent has encountered on some very unlikely dance floors) Peter Bjorn and John developed a following enthusiastic enough to justify the indulgence. I’m not complaining because, as I said, this is innocuous stuff, all wide-panning Morricone-esque scenery that won’t disrupt your dinner. And even if I think it’s a waste of polycarbonate plastic, that’s no guarantee fans will. Middle child Björn Yttling moonlights and then some as a producer for such Swedish pop lights as Lykke Li, and the orchestra-stab-punctuated new-wave vamp “School of Kraut” does indeed feel like half of an equation: skilled backing band in search of funky hip singer. As with lots of instrumental rock albums, the music tries to tell stories without words — “Needles and Pills” cuts a fife-propelled arc across Scandinavian verdure. It’s really pointless. And somewhat nice.
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  Topics: CD Reviews , Peter Bjorn and John, Peter Bjorn and John, Interpol,  More more >
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 See all articles by: SAM UBL

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