The Sounds – Crossing The Rubicon

June 2, 2009

thesounds_albumartworkrgbOne of the appeals of seeing a concert by Swedish band the Sounds is their determination that everyone in the audience have a great time, since they’re seeing, after all, the greatest band in the world. Super charismatic lead singer Maja Ivarsson introduces songs by saying, “Here comes another hit,” and the band plays with such passion and commitment that for the duration of the song, it’s not just a hit, it’s a super hit! For their third album, Crossing The Rubicon, they haven’t altered their formula much: It’s more of the same propulsive New Wave and punk inspired pop they’ve been doing since their 2003 debut, Living In America. They sound rather like a less serious minded the Killers, albeit with a heavy Blondie influence and a singer with a Swedish accent, though they are no less ambitious. They’re at their best with their dance rock numbers, like the opener and current single, “No One Sleeps When I’m Awake,” and later tracks like “Beatbox” and “Underground.” Their slower numbers tend towards the sentimental, as on “Home Is Where The Heart Is,” case in point, but that said, “Dorchester Hotel” and “Midnight Sun” are album highlights as well, the latter track coming in a second half that features slower numbers in general. When they’re at the top of their game, the Sounds make some pretty irresistible dance music, and Crossing The Rubicon features enough of them at the top of their game to make it a worthwhile listen for fans and people looking for unpretentious and unabashedly entertaining pop.


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