The Best is Yet to Come
Moreso than any other album in my recent stack of CDs to review, The Charade’s The Best is Yet to Come has come to command my car stereo. The Swedish trio make the perfect blend of bittersweet pop that drew me to Belle & Sebastian so many years ago. It’s a formula that the Swedes seemingly have down to a science recently, wringing out summertime melancholy from acoustic guitars and synths. Singer Ingela Matsson’s hushed coo is a great partner for the instrumentation, evoking that happy/sad dialectic between music and vocals most often associated with The Smiths. It’s broken relationship, after self doubt, after cautious optimism for her and the rest of the band. On “The Sun is Gonna Shine on You… and Me” she sings, “A new day will rise/ The sun is gonna shine on you and me/ The best is yet to come,” before breaking the illusion with the repeated chorus line “I don’t know why I can’t see you before me.” “Stockholm January 2005” laundry lists the neutrals (“islands and bridges”) and negatives (“garbage”) of the city and comes to the conclusion, “it feels like this is safe.” These days, it’s getting harder to find albums where all the tracks aim high and hit their mark. The Charade do just that and should be up there on my year-end “Best of” list.
Skipping Stones Records: www.skippingstonesrecords.com