Review Summary: Perfect for strolling in a snowdrift uptown in a pea-coat and pancake hat. Why not make it a party?
What is the key to a successful pop album? Catchiness combined with replay-ability. The dance-worthy self-titled debut by trio Miike Snow
sure does the trick. Listeners needn’t worry about rationing these dangerously fun hits because the intricacy of it all outlasts any initial euphoria experienced while involuntarily jiving along. This album is for anyone feeling let down by the mainstream bass bangers that can’t hold up much longer than the tipsy, topsy-turvy clubbers can before toppling over into forgetful oblivion. It both chills and warms the listener to pump feeling back into the body. Call it an Icy Hot Patch for the ears. Let the pounding beats revive your doubtful heart.
The masterminds behind the electronic grooves are Swedes - Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg, who have been a producing team for some years now under the moniker of Bloodshy and Avant
. The soundboard geniuses have a quite a résumé to speak for them. Most notably, they produced and co-wrote one of pop-sensation Britney Spears
's greatest hits – “Toxic”. Subtract the cover girl’s attention-stealing techniques and think back to how dynamic and electrifying that beat truly is. The questionability of these dominant electronic composers is little to none, but how would the transition to an indie-electronic album turn out? With the help of American frontman - Andrew Wyatt, this makes for a widely approachable album, not only to mass marketed pop fans, but to the more underground type of pop crowd as well. The Swedish technology wizards exchanged sitting behind a superstar for collaboration with a down to earth musician for a more heartfelt effort.
Although pop has a negative connotation because under grounders crave that which is not popular (what pop is abbreviated from), Miike Snow
’s sound is undeniably enticing. It’s borderline driving beat techno, so for those who are scarred by over-done “Party Boy” reenactments in the years past, give dancing music another chance. Sure, there will be those who shun the dance-ability of these tracks and the sterile perfection of production. Still, many will just enjoy the feel-good nature of the upbeat music. This is not unlike what MGMT
did with their sensational dance hits. Loose comparisons could even be made with Animal Collective
’s “mainstream” successes off of MPP
. There are plenty of songs on Mike Snow
to throw on a hipster’s party soundtrack…because they are too hip for commercialized hits. It’s not all fun and games on this release though. At times, the pace slows down and somber piano keys are struck to resonate on a soul level. In fact, even the “party tracks” have a duality of happiness and melancholy (reminiscent of Mew
It’s already been established that Karlsson and Winnberg know what the heck they are doing as engineers. They and musical technology get along well. Not only do the song progressions keep advancing with refreshing chord patterns but the textures shift throughout. As knobs are turned levels are adjusted, and sequences bounce around with elegance. More expansive than simple-structured, dance-floor suitable pop music, the styles change up on the track list as well. Real guitar, real-sounding drums, and various piano types are layered with top-notch sampled synths. Video-game-esque tonalities swirl in and out of more classy rhythmic chords. There is a certain cold mood given off by the selected synth patches. Picture icicles melting with synchronizing synth and drum patterns. Oh yeah, there is plenty of delay resonating in the iced over headphones.
Wyatt’s prominent voice ties it all together artfully. Different effects are liberally applied to his singing, only never suppressing his peculiar, confident mannerism. The lyrics are what one would expect to be crooned along with synth-happy hooks – simple enough to involve participation, yet inspiring as far as daily life goes. The usual, relatable issues are sung about, mostly revolving around social angst. The messages seem so much more stirring due to the motivating backdrop of constancy in the beats and brimming emotion in the melodies. The hook line from “Animal”, "I change shapes just to hide in this place, but I’m still, I’m still an animal", makes self-realization fun when chanted along. There is an overall air of hope despite the sad feeling explored throughout the album.
is a sophisticated album with a glimmering production – the latter may be a turn off for some. The uptown attitude it contains leaves a mature, professional impression. Standing out the most are the danceable tracks with sing-along choruses like “Animal” and “Cult Logic”. This is both fitting for Euro dance clubs and indie kids’ house parties. Really - anyone who wants to take a load off and boogie away their troubles. This is essential to the electronic-indie fan’s collection. Such a feeling of chilling melodies, sparkling production, and magical composition – Miike Snow
makes for a great winter album. Perfect for strolling in a snowdrift uptown in a pea-coat and pancake hat. Why not make it a party?