Sweden rocks. But I’m partial to that country; at my parent’s house, there is a cedar chest that my relatives brought over from Sweden when they immigrated over in the late 19th century. There’s also a Swedish bible, but I haven’t even bothered reading the English translation. If you haven’t guessed, I sold my soul to rock and roll.
So go ahead and throw Ace of Base, Roxette, and even Yngwie Malmsteen at me. I’ll raise you a ton of great bands that demonstrate a consistent stream of innovative rock music.
One of those bands is Love Is All, who released “Nine Times That Same Song” belatedly this year (it was originally scheduled for a 4Q ’05 release) and it’s another example of how Sweden rocks.
You’ll initially notice that Josephine Olausson sounds a lot like Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. But Karen O sounds a little like Marion Coutts from Dog Faced Hermans and (sometimes) like Chrissie Hynde from The Pretenders. Spin “Nine Times That Same Song” a few more times and you’ll start to notice other things, like how the band fucking rocks. By “rocks” I mean in that late 70’s/early 80’s post-punk kind of way when bringing a trumpet into the mix and throwing in a reggae dub arrangement was considered “punk” enough to even be considered.
That’s a good things, sometimes, particularly when your vision exceeds your actual recording budget. A lot of “Nine Times That Same Song”’s charm actually comes from the low-fi recording technique. You have to struggle to find some of the musicianship that’s deep in the tape hiss, but when you do, you’ll end up like me and spin the thing more times than you wanted to during your initial Yeah Yeah Yeah’s comparison.
The album, perfectly timed under 40 minutes, focuses on one subject matter: love. Specifically, the roller coaster of it all. One moment, Josephine sounds giddy and hard to contain. On others, she’s dark and frustrated. Been there before? Me too. We all sing the same song of love, but most of us have never made an album as clever and captivating as this one. Like Roxette told us: listen to your heart.