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The Concretes

Release Date: 06.29.04
Record label: Astralwerks
Genre(s): Rock

80 Music-Critic Score
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Something New
by: peter naldrett


Like a fresh, crisp wind blown in from the Baltic Sea, Swedish band The Concretes have something very positive to contribute to life. Listening to their new, eponymous album is to hear a variety of diverse influences gloriously breathed in and exhaled as perfect pop with guitars. Their website declares "We will rock you. Sort of." And that sums up a sound that is difficult to place; one not shying away from the rock genre but equally accessible to so many more music fans.


The new album kicks off with the brilliant "Say Something New", with an explosion of guitars and a Doors-esque organ that becomes sensual when Victoria Bergsman adds her ethereal vocals. Instant change of musical direction is needed for the pop single "You Can't Hurry Love", which follows and reminds me of a happy-go-lucky single that would have been at home on REM's Out Of Time offering back in 1991. All change again for track three, the fantastic "Chico" which ambles in with qualities of the finest lullaby. The diversity shown by The Concretes is definitely a strength of this Swedish band, which has the capability of becoming at least sleeping giants in the musical world they have graced.


The military feel given to the song "Diana Ross" is impressive, while the phenomenal organ and French feel of "Warm Night" is understated genius. Bergsman is strong on vocals throughout, perhaps struggling with high notes on a couple of tracks. Her performance on "Foreign Country" would be at home on a Sonic Youth single, while elsewhere she is more suited to the sounds of The B52s or The Beautiful South. This is a testimony to her diversity, and indeed the musical variation offered by the seven other members of The Concretes.


This is a debut album from a hugely talented and gifted outfit that are at the beginning of what should be an incredible musical journey. On that journey they will touch thousands of ears. Make sure yours are one of the first. 25-Aug-2004 11:00 PM