Album Reviews: Peter Bjorn and John, The Go! Team

Gimme Some by Peter Bjorn and John

After the complete dissapointment that was “Living Things” it’s nice to welcome back the band that created one of my all time favorite records (Writers Block) and my current ring tone (the whistling from “Young Folks”). “Gimme Some” is really just what the doctor ordered, a lot of precisely played pop rock that is innovative without even a hint of pretension.   A perfect example of what this record is all about is the track “Eyes”. It features as timeless a baseline as imaginable’ ‘bum bum bum badumbum bum bum bum badumbum’ then this summery guitar sprinkled in in spurts and a very efficient use of lyrics. The song (as do most of PB&J’s best songs) avoids any sort of clutter but never feels sparse.

I don’t wanna make you interested.

I just wanna make you the only one.

“Dig a Little Deeper” is the type of “oh oh” filled infectiously bouncy number that every good pop rock record needs. It is what “Amsterdam” was to “Writers Block” in 07. I think my favorite song on the album though is “May Seem Macabre” it’s a moderately somber,  bass driven track with flashes of high pitched guitar, drawn out vocals and brilliant pacing. The result is a clean sounding yet soulful song that borders on entrancing. There are a couple tracks on the record that seem to delve off into the ‘punk-pop’ genre. I can’t say those work. It’s just not what Peter Bjorn and John are good at. Those couple songs aside, “Gimme Some” is a tremendously consistent record.

May Seem Macabre MP3

Eyes MP3

Gimme Some 4.5 out of 5

Rolling Blackouts by The Go! Team.

Normally when I think of  “The Go! Team” I think of all things “Jock Jams” crammed into a chaotic three minutes.  This album certainly has some of those moments (see T.O.R.N.A.D.O.), but in general, it’s a pretty subdued sound for wacky UK ensemble. It’s a much less abrasive sound, which in my opinion is a good thing, but old skool Go! Team enthusiasts might be a bit let down.

Some songs like the oldies inspired “Ready to Go Steady” are down right kewt, arguably to a fault. That track in particular kind of sounds like a more crowded version of a “Magic Kids” track. I think the best they sound on this album (ever?) is on “Voice Yr Choice”. The song is the perfect marriage of Technotronicesque funk and a breezy summer jam. Not bad at all for a band I normally strongly dislike.

Rolling Blackouts 3 out of 5.



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