Love is All – A Hundred Things Keep Me Up at Night
Last time round, this Swedish outfit brought us cleverly crafted pop tunes that wrapped themselves tidily inside walls of noise and shaky vocals from front-woman Josephine Olausson; this time around, we pretty much get the same thing, but in an appealing manner.
A Hundred Things Keep Me Up at Night starts off with “New Beginnings,” and that fresh starts is filled with horn blasts and driving guitar lines. It’s a rapid kick-start to the listener; it’s a call to arms of sorts. Midway through the song, the trading of male/female vocals is done up to perfection, creating delicious moments of joy.
One of the most impressive things about Love is All is that the band is still able to incorporate the usage of hors in a way that compliments the songs. Each song is filled in with this delicate tough, which allows for the swirling of listeners to evolve a little more sporadically. It’s one of the things that this band does to near perfection.
Along the way the band puts two of the better tracks next to each other, strengthening the middle of the album. “Sea Sick” seems to be an escapist song, as the protagonist in the song wants escape the mundane, screaming “I’m bored to death, I’m bored of this shit.” It’s juxtaposed to one of the best songs of the year, “Wishing Well.” The playfulness expressed in the lyrics, and the aesthetic quality of the song create instantaneous joy. Not to mention, this definitely has to be one of those songs that makes the audience bounce as they scream along to the chorus in unison with the band.
Suddenly, you get a slow-burner, as “When Giants Fall” comes across the stereo. The band leaves plenty of room for feedback and dense group harmonies that echo in the background of the song. Something about this song has a haunting quality to it, sort of like a gospel version of early Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Then “Rumours” brings the pace right back for you. Swing those hips kids. Slow it down; now right back to it.
Possible detractors do exist in this album, like the fact that you still can’t tell exactly how much you would enjoy Josephine’s voice in a live setting. Or, some of the atmospheric elements added for textural purposes, such as the male spoken vocals in the background of “19 Floors” get a bit grating. Other than that, you’ll find that this album is every bit as exciting as the first one, some of it exceeding it’s forbearer.