Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Love at first sight

Oh Alright, the debut album from Sweden's Le Kid, jumps back and forth between lush, swoony mid-tempos, cheeky '60s kitsch, and day-glo '80s pop. As you'd expect from from a group whose "background" members are three of Sweden's best up-and-coming songwriters, the highlights are stunning. The jubilantly bouncy "We Should Go Home Together" updates Stock-Aitken-Waterman with a wink but also with so much joy that the group reveals a real affection for that sound, as well as an understanding of what made its best examples work. "Mercy Mercy," the group's debut single, is a cheery, summer-ready improvement on Girls Aloud's "Can't Speak French." Perhaps Le Kid's greatest work yet, though, is their fourth single. "America" takes the cosmic ice princess disco longing in Kylie Minogue's "The One" and melts it into something just as beautiful and sparkly but also warm-blooded, making its underlying plea for love all the more powerful in the process.



If outside the context of the album the retro pastiches "Oh My God," "Kiss Me," and "Seventeen" at first seemed a little juvenile or not quite up to par with the swooshy pop-dance of "Telephone" or the Gwen-Stefani's-"Cool"-meets-orchestral-strings of "Escape," their quality somehow becomes more apparent when they crop up in the midst of Oh Alright. Their demanded-replay-value still suffers in comparison to the rest of the album, but their charms, particularly those of "Oh My God," pop a bit more, too.



Elsewhere, "Bigger Than Jesus" is another soaring disco reverie, with a chugging electronic beat outpacing the restrained coos of singers Johanna and Helena. A bonus track version of the Killers' "Mr. Brightside" works surprisingly well both on its on terms and in creating a desire for more Le Kid covers. Still, it's "We Are The Drums," another of the group's consistently great songs even if not the acme of their work, that sums up Le Kid's potential: "we are the chords and the lyrics and the melodies," they sing in their mini-anthem, practically daring you to disagree with the affirmation that they're the beat you run your life to. If they can keep making material that so effectively sums up the joys of pop music, they really will be.



Le Kid's debut album, Oh Alright, comes out August 17 in Sweden. Preorder it here.

6 comments:

Paul said...

have you heard the new Simon C album? It's dark and relentless and vitriolic and bitter. that's not a criticism but this album is the perfect antidote to cheer yourself up after. they can do no wrong in my eyes :)

daavid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Damian said...

Though "Bigger Than Jesus" is the only song I have heard from this album it doesn't make it less anticipated by me. Is this song as good as previous singles, PG?
I'm sure "We Are The Drums" will be my fave, such an anthemic pop-rock sound, completely in love with it.

Poster Girl said...

Paul, I've only heard "Flesh," which is pretty good. Interesting comment!

Damian, "anthemic" is TOTALLY the right word for it. "Bigger Than Jesus" is weird in that the songs most like it--"America," "Escape--are "bigger" sounding, whereas "Bigger Than Jesus" is (and I think Ken made this observation already, so it's hardly original on my part) surprisingly subtle (it's still poppy and disco-y and swoopy, but whereas the aforementioned two songs kind of go big and poppy at some point, "Bigger Than Jesus" is a little more restrained). I think as a result it comes as a bit of a shock at first, but once you wrap your head around what it's doing, I'd say it's just as good. Less single-y, but just as good (though every now and then I think it's just SO pretty and moving that I wish they hadn't chosen such a tongue-in-cheek key phrase for the chorus--it cuts the seriousness out of it--but then again, I guess it wouldn't be Le Kid if there wasn't a sense of humor in their somewhere).

Polish translator said...

I love Le Kid :)

Dougal said...

The dude is completely just, and there is no skepticism.
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