The Sounds: Dying To Say This To You

sounds-dying-to-say-this

I think the Sounds are confused. I know I am after listening to this record. First off, the cover looks like so much American Apparel softcore porn, which I guess is fine by itself but sort of out of context for the band. The first track makes it apparent that they are going to be experimenting a bit when the backing vocals kick in. I can’t pinpoint the style except to say that it approaches heavy metal soul if that makes sense. A bit jarring at first but it grows on you. The message of the song is a little confusing. At best it’s a piss take on superstardom, at worst it’s self-aggrandizing. Let’s hope it’s the former.

As for the rest of the songs, it sounds like they are trying to explore a more pop disco feel like No Doubt did with Rock Steady, well, except without the dub aspect. Tony The Beat is probably the most obvious, and it kind of falls flat. Hurt you is another departure. A lot of the songs seem kind of sterile, half-finished demos that are super clean. As with Living In America, the songs are not lyrically fully fleshed out, and there are and they rely heavily on the exclamation “Hey!” Maja still has the strangest Swedish accent you’ve likely heard. The CD has a couple videos on it that further her image as weirdly fascinating front woman who is alternately beautiful and glamorous or verging on a train wreck. I swear sometimes she looks like she must have had some of that famous Swedish surgery. The fact that I am obsessed with her means thatI must have my own issues. Also present on the multimedia part is a remix of Tony The Beat that is pretty much a throw away.

The overall vibe of this record is a lot less antagonistic or tough than the first one. There are moments of pure vulnerability without the snotty attitude that acted as a foil on Living in America. The result is that they are kind of less interesting.

Dying To Say This To You is probably the result of some hurried sessions after touring the hell out of the globe. It comes off as a collection of B-sides instead of a follow up to Living In America. Let’s face it, a big part of the charm of Living In America was the novelty of the band and kind of fucked up and skewed way that non-english speaking Europeans interpret the history of Rock and Roll. Sometimes it works, sometimes it just doesn’t cut it. It’s kind of like comparing old Shonen Knife records to new ones. I have faith in the Sounds though. I think they’ll be back with a vengence.

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