Fey, Wispy, ambient pop from up North.
Chris Jones 2008-01-04
Those crazy Swedes. The last year has been another bumper one for our Scandinavian pals. By now surely no one would dispute that they've cornered the market in female-voiced intelligent pop. From the Cardigans to 2007's wonderful album by Little Dragon, And in fact the duo of Karolina Komstedt and Johan Angergård have seemingly given us the Summer album of the year. Err...six months too early. The Boy...is filled with fey, filigree pop music of the highest calibre, but can it weather a British winter?
Karolina Komstedt's vocals come from the school labelled 'wispy'. A little like Dubstar crossed with "White Horses" by Jackie - they float around the lyrics unfortunately flattening rather than heightening any meaning they may have. But Club 8's strengths lie more in the ambient end of their sound anyway. While this is the finest 60s-influenced, acoustic-led pop south of the arctic circle one gets the feeling that it's an overall mood rather than a standout moment that the duo are aiming for.
Having said that, "Football Kids", "Jesus Walk With Me" and the title track are all exquisitely delicate and melodically seductive. Yet tracks like "When I Come Around" sound too much like they come from some Smiths-influenced, late-80s time warp. The tweeness can sometimes get a little overwhelming which is why it's better to treat The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Dreaming more as an atmospheric taster for the sunshine to come. Just don't forget to get it back out of its box come June...