The Sounds - Something to Die For (Listen & Download)
Genre: Indie Rock, Synthrock
The Sounds are no stranger to the music scene. Hailing from Sweden, this five piece indie synthrock set recently released their fourth album Something to Die For to mixed feelings. I became a fan after picking up their second album, Dying to Say This to You, at-of all places-the library (there is some good in it then!). Their sound is fairly unique with lead singer Maja Ivarsson belting away in her heavily-Scandinavian accent. Since then, though, and the subsequent release of their follow up, Crossing the Rubicon, the sound of The Sounds has slowly changed. Call it an aim to please the mainstream, but the Sounds have done just that- leaving many to classify the new album as "mainstream synthpop". While I would not go so far as to say they are manufacturing songs simply for public appeal, I will say that The Sounds have undergone genre re-classification. But that is, by no means, a bad thing.
Faze Grade: A-
Something to Die For, much like the previous album, starts with "It's So Easy" which is nothing more than a progressive techno intro with a few creepy, repetitive lyrics added for pizazz. These types of songs are supposed to get the blood pumping with a feisty opener but are often skipped entirely from the second play on. "Dance with the Devil" is where the band finally kicks it into gear and showcases their new sound, relying heavily on synth and techno beats to carry the sound, presumably, farther. The song is catchy and gets the listener in the mood for the next several songs, all carrying the same energy. "The No No Song" has a lame title but is a feel-good rocking rouser. The electric guitars take the majority of the sound, rather than synth like most of the album making this truly a rock anthem.
When the title track rolls around it's a breath of fresh air and a stunning piece. Though the thematic "something to die for/something to live for" line has become cliche, The Sounds spin a different take on it. This is easily the best track on the album and collates everything that is great about this album: energetic and synthrock sounds. "Yeah Yeah Yeah" is a strangely-tuned song that sounds like Rap Punk more than anything else. The climactic chorus is a chanted "Yeah Yeah Yeah" followed by more rap-like aggression lines; it should be evident by then that the Sounds are not known for their lyrical prowess. However, this should not stray the listener from picking this album up. The album concludes with a serious rock anthem "Won't Let Them Tear Us Apart" before fading into "The Best of Me" and "Wish you Were Hear"; the latter two tracks falling terribly short from the high-octane tempo. The Sounds lack strength in slower ballads causing the listener to quickly switch the track. Their stronger areas of high-powered rock showcase true talent as can be heard on "Something to Die For." A-
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