Spend some time in the shade with The Concretes
The Prestige | CA, USA | 02/16/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
""In Colour" may not be a significant step forward musically for the veteran Swedish band The Concretes, but it's probably their most accessible album to date. It's filled with their typically infectious and mildly quirky yet sometimes gorgeous pop songs. Led by the fragile yet soulful croonings of petite lead singer Victoria Bergsman, the songs have a delicate and distinctive quality to them that grows on you with each listen. The opening song "On the Radio" is a catchy, melodic tune that wills its way into your heart via Bergsman's sweet vocals. "Change in the Weather" is a wistful country-flavored track that's as light and cozy as a warm pillow. Meanwhile "Chosen One" is a deceptively simple ready-for-radio pop tune given an edge by prominent guitars and Bergsman's slightly off kilter line readings.
Sadly, Victoria Bergsman and the rest of the group seem to have had a falling out in 2006, leading to her split from The Concretes and her pursuit of a solo career. Meanwhile, The Concretes look to carry on without her. Judging from quality of the 12 songs on "In Colour" it would seem that both The Concretes and Victoria Bergsman have more than enough talent to continue making great music on their own."
Better than you've heard
R. Mahieu | Seattle, WA | 07/03/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Concretes seem to have grown on this album. They have added a fuller band sound, but managed to maintain their smooth, intimate song textures. The first 4 songs are all keepers. On The Radio has a great feel to it, nice chorus. Sunbeams is a heartfelt song sung like a pro with nice build ups. Change in Weather gives you a feel of inspiration right off the bat. Chosen One, although obviously crafted for radio, still manages to stay true to the Concretes and this album.
After this, it's hit or miss. Your Call is just boring, and might not be enjoyed by anyone. Fiction, weighing in at 6:02, starts with a good drum track, some smooth piano, and a nice horn section, all before the perfect vocals drop. Nicely laid out rhythm. The song, however, should end at 4 minutes. The end is too noisy, crunchy guitars, useless howls, overdone horns, etc. Poor attempt at a "jam". Tomorrow is a nice ballad, with a genuine feel to Victoria's singing. A little light for my taste, but good track nonetheless. As Four starts slow, then employs a quirky piano/percussion combo that seems to work, at least to break the monotony that other albums' reviews complain of.
Grey Days has beautiful guitar work to start, then follows with beautiful melodies, which seem transplanted from 1965. The chorus lives up to the momentum, and the track doesn't really lag at all. A Way of Life sounds like a Velvet Underground track immediately, then transforms into the Concretes, thanks to Victoria, again. Nice piano fills, and guitar fuzz twang carries the verses to the chorus, which seems a bit familiar, unfortunately not a good thing. Not bad, not memorable.
Ooh La La is upbeat and a keeper. Victoria flows right along, and the song sticks. Nice vocals. Stop comparing her to Nico, just because Nico's female and sung with the Velvet Underground. This track should disprove that comparison. Also, nice sound effects in the backing of this song around half-way through. Song for The Songs tries to end the album on a happy, upbeat note, but just seems frantic. Even a great vocal and string section can't help the chaos. Way too much going on.
Overall, a much better follow up than most critics give credit for. Pitchfork gives them a 4.7/10, and can't even make their review readable. Recommended tracks are 1-4, 8,9, and 11."