Wherever they're going next, it's worth going along for the ride.
Elvissia Williams 2008-10-03
Fresh out of school and into the glass-filled sandpit of the real world, Those Dancing Days arrive proffering a much-anticipated debut. A parping fanfare announces the invasion of chirrupy Swedish girl pop - and the weight of frenzied expectation. Their Myspace tracks generated oodles of plays, singles Run Run and Hitten tickled the hype machine - so was the rest worth waiting for?
Immediately spirited away on the swift drum rolls of Falling In Fall, and carrying more than a few of Nina's 99 Red Balloons, it's clear we're headed to a far-off kingdom. It's a land where it’s possible to be happy and sad at once, and where early promise doesn't fizzle into disappointment. Run Run is its national anthem - a homage to freedom that feels like pelting down a really, really steep hill before bouncing off into the unknown on a giant drum skin.
Throughout the album, prancing, synth staccato leads the way as Linnea Jönsson's vocals flutter around - in turns tremulous and forceful but never shrill. Hitten is her sugary flirtation with therapy, a journey to ''make things easier for everyone including me''. Elsewhere, their naivety is played to knowing advantage and Actionman is a delightful, deliberately childlike goodbye to a relationship.
The tomorrow-never-knows sentiment of Shuffle typifies an art for tender contemplation amidst the hand-claps, but also marks a boundary to their range. While each track is a perfectly-tuned bittersweet blast of youthful exuberance, songs on the latter half - like Kids - suffer from a touch of 'OK, we get it'.
However, no sooner does doubt set in than Those Dancing Days takes a hammond organ to the disco and unleashes a glittering track that's a fitting tribute to the quintet. As Space Hero Suits prepares for departure from the kingdom, you're by their side donning the astro helmet. Leaping aboard and rocketing into the orbit of clever pop it's clear that wherever they're going next, it's worth going along for the ride.