Review Summary: Far from serious, but absolutely fun, LOL is a really good dance album.
Basshunter is a tough guy to take seriously. At the age of 15, he exposed himself to the world of synthetic noise with the help of a computer program called Fruityloops. And this was 1999, so assume he had Windows 98 at the very best. Today, ten years later, he still lives with his parents in Sweden, where hobbies include video gaming and trips to Tylosand, Sweden’s most exquisite beach. Because the beaches in Sweden are, well, fantastic and all. A Swedish beach bum computer nerd… couldn’t possibly have better makings for an up and coming Dance artist. Oh yeah, did I mention his debut album is entitled “LOL <(^^,)>”?
LOL is a very fun album to digest. One of the most noticeable things about LOL is the fact that it’s in two languages, English and Swedish, and Basshunter does most of the singing himself. Regardless of the language, it’s damn catchy, which would explain how the lead single, “Boten Anna,” made the No. 2 spot in the Holland sales chart (which happens to be a big deal, because the Dutch and the Swedes have an apparent dislike for eachother. I believe Altmer is one of our resident European experts and can probably confirm this).
Listening to Basshunter sing in Swedish is one of the coolest things about the album. We all know you don’t listen to dance music for the singing, however. It’s for the beats. It’s for that catchy, synthetic, over produced series of electronic loops. It’s for that bass, which, not so surprisingly, Basshunter delivers. The lead single, Boten Anna, is probably the best track on the album. It was an instant hit in all of Europe, specifically Scandinavia, and is one of the reasons Basshunter quickly became one of the most sought after DJs in Sweden. It has an excellent lead beat and a very memorable vocal style, all qualities of a good dance song. These qualities remain constant throughout the album, and every song has a large sense of depth. While most of the other tracks don’t stand out from each other, all are very good. As far as I’m concerned, Basshunter writes all of his songs himself, composes the tunes, loops, and produces all of the tracks. It’s almost surprising at how this one guy wrote everything on this album by himself.
The album is full of seriously great beats. I guess the best way to put it is awesome electronic riffs – they’re cheesy enough to create a fun atmosphere, but layered and complex enough to add a sense of seriousness. Basshunter is a guy who takes pride in his creative juices, and he’s got them. His singing, especially the Swedish passages, adds a foreign and mystical sense to songs like “Between the Two of Us” and “Strand Tylosand.” It’s got traces of stereotypical techno, but it’s far from conventional.
However, there’s a certain sense of prematurity in this album. The lyrics are, quite frankly, silly. Boten Anna is a song about how Basshunter went months thinking that a moderator on his website was a bot, when in reality it was a real woman named Anna, causing a strange humiliation that inspired him to write the song. DotA is about a Real-Time Strategy scenario in Warcraft III. The title choices are cheesy, and the style is just as carefree. I mean, the title of the album is called LOL. Is this all a bad thing? Hardly at all.
Fortunately, characteristics such as silliness and cheesiness are completely welcome in dance music. The carefree manner in which Basshunter made this album reflects much more of a young, fun, humorous style that resembles the fun manner in which dance music ought to be enjoyed. This is an album for dorm room parties and social situations where you want to set a fun mood. It’s all head-bopping, fist-pumping, hands-in-the-air-and-jumping action from Basshunter, and it’s perfect for your next party. Like many artists that have literally nothing to do with their free time, Basshunter was able to conceive a very good work in LOL.
Most electronic music CDs are compilations of various artists, different styles, and unorganized for the sake of a varied party playlist, which is absolutely fine considering dance music is a very loose genre. LOL is the opposite – it has 18 dance tracks that are all gifted with the same style and grace that Basshunter applies to his songs, which almost goes against the notion that dance music is a specialty genre. LOL, given its continuity and consistency, is definitely well into the mainstream and it is absolutely worth a buy. Anyone with a decent dance collection would really be doing themselves a favor by having this album on them.
3.5/5. It’s a great dance CD, but it will be a while before something techno merits anything close to a classic rating. It’s totally fun and carefree, and worth your money for your next party.