Album Review: Miike Snow – Miike Snow

By on Wednesday, 14th October 2009 at 12:00 pm
 

Miike Snow album coverMiike Snow is a collaboration between Swedes Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg (famed producing/writing duo Bloodshy and Avant) and American musician/songwriter/producer Andrew Wyatt. I’ve heard conflicting stories on the origin of the band’s name, so I’m not touching that with a ten-foot pole. Instead, what I am going to talk about: their electro / layered eponymously named debut coming out in physical form later this month.

Thanks to Radio1 playlist addition this year, you are likely familiar with ‘Animal’ and ‘Black and Blue’, the first two singles from the album. ‘Animal’ starts the album off right with enjoyably bouncy synths, then Wyatt’s voice comes in, just as percussive rhythms join in. This is pop, but done in a less conventional way. This is not a song custom made for a club, at least not in its current form. It’s the kind of tune that makes you want to dance out of your office chair, but not necessarily on a dance floor in Ibiza. The chorus is infectious: “I change shapes just to hide in this place / but I’m still, I’m still an animal / nobody knows it but me when I slip / yeah I slip, I’m still an animal…

‘Black and Blue’ and ‘Plastic Jungle’ are r&b flavoured pieces of pop, almost necessitating a Jacko-style moonwalk whilst listening. The percussion is the star, but they don’t completely obscure Wyatt’s soulful delivery and on ‘Black and Blue’, the backing vocals are pleasantly Motown-esque. That said, many of these songs are amalgamations of all the right parts of successful pop recipes, but mixed up in interesting combinations or with unusual treatments (like in the xylophone-tinged ‘Burial’ or the mildly laughable robotic squeaks and drum machines in ‘Sans Soleil’).

Overall, while Wyatt’s lyrics are broad and engaging enough to be enjoyable, it’s the lush instrumentation throughout that is this band’s strength. Surprisingly, these tracks stand up well live, not exactly what you’d expect from a band two-thirds made up of a studio trickery-dependent production team. One wonders how Miike Snow would react when the tracks will – and they will, inevitably – be remixed!

The debut album by Miike Snow will be released physically in the UK on 26 October.

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One Response

[…] Miike Snow’s case, yes they can. They take their (rather good) album that Mary reviewed here and transformed it into a collection of party songs that doesn’t fail to get everyone moving. […]

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