The Sounds

The Sounds

The Sounds

Something to Die for

SideOneDummy Records

Something to Die for, Sweden’s The Sounds fourth album, is an instantly likable techno/dance record full of colorful nuggets that stick to your brain like peanut butter. “Better Off Dead” is a pop hit waiting to be Glee-ified, “Something to Die for” has got a drum breakdown in the middle that begs for a dance floor, and “Dance with the Devil” rocks a robot voice before plunging into a song that’s part Pat Benatar and part Samantha Fox. “Yeah Yeah Yeah” is a chanty anthem, cheesy as only simple pop songs can pull off. “Diana” is a bold lovelorn tale about wanting the girl who runs from your bed before breakfast, and “Wish You Were Here” closes out the collection with a sweet, aching ballad that reveals a vulnerable side of frontwoman Maya Ivarsson’s heart and vocals.

Any one of these tracks would make Lady Gaga’s toes curl for its poppy goodness.

The strange thing is, The Sounds were never a pop band. The group, headed up by blonde-bombshell badass Ivarsson, has always had a frisky, new wave sexiness in the musical company of Missing Persons or Blondie. Melodies worthy of topping the pops, sure, but with an undefinable edginess that sets them in a different bin from your average Top 40 acts. With this record, they’re either hanging up their leathers and joining the mainstream fun, or they’re storming the party and planting a flag.

Either way, this is one fantastically fun pop album released, ironically, on SideOneDummy Records — a label that’s home to mostly punk acts.

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