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September 17, 2004

{     The Concretes (Astralwerks)     }    

Upon putting on this record, this Stockholm-based crew will quickly draw images to mind of people in a smoke-filled den, dim lamps barely lighting a room with everyone seated on the floor, each one dressed in white and staring at either their bare feet or their lover's eyes, cigarette in one hand and a cheek in the other. Imagine spending the night with the Velvet Underground and everyone's getting stoned in a room full of pillows and great '60s records. Nico is there, and for some reason she's singing a Supremes song to you whenever you close your eyes, and she's talking about how she's been listening to a lot of Mazzy Star this week. "Great," you say, "but can you bring in the strings?" The Concretes are wonderful, and this record is wonderful, a solid pop gem that satisfied me in a slow crawling summer. Brandishing cellos, harps, violins and more, in addition to the regular pop layout, this eight-member-strong band has crafted a fine piece of work that sadly has floated along quietly, slipping past the radar of most whom would love it. Lead singer Victoria Bergsman sings in such a sweet, slurred manner that you may wonder if she slips out a chorus every once in a while with a bit of maple syrup still held in her mouth. It's a drugged-out but upbeat record, great for a slow drive with the setting sun in your eyes, the perfect cd to buy and sneak into your sad friend's glove compartment for them to find in a moment that they need it most.

     » Sample some free MP3s on their official site...

     » Buy it...


I didn't realize how looked-over this record was until I got back in the States. You cannot escape it in England right now, which is not to say their taste is better than ours. Lord knows, I heard enough Jimi Hendrix over the summer to last a lifetime. Not to mention the most obnoxious techno music ever made.

Posted by: Greg at September 17, 2004 4:04 PM
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