Words by Amanda Remling
Peter, Bjorn, and John have definitely been on a musical journey since their 2006 release Writer’s Block, which featured the world-wide loved song “Young Folks”. The Swedish trio recently released their sixth studio album, Gimme Some. Gimme Some is a pretty wide change from their 2009 album Living Things, which featured a more harsher sound than the groups usual innocent melodies.
Unfortunately, Gimme Some has lost some of the bands innocence along the way. The new album sounds like it’s guilty of being corrupted by mainstream music. I’m not calling the album bad. In fact most of the songs are very catchy, but their sound has evolved into some kind of Vampire Weekend mutant. A band where you could previously hear the heart in their songs has produced an album where the listener is left wondering “Have I heard this before?”
The album starts off strong with “Tomorrow Has to Wait.” The solid base drum has a march like feel to it, while the guitars and whispery echoes in the background invoke a feeling of being in a mystical forest (I envision unicorns and centaurs gallivanting by a stream of shimmery water).
With track two, “Dig A Little Deeper,” listeners will definitely hear the similarities to Vampire Weekend with the pop inspired guitar riffs and “oh oh” they have chanting in the background. The first single off Gimme Some, “Second Chance” will have people in love with the song not because of the catchy vocals or fierce guitar riffs, but the fantastic use of the cow bell (it’s always exciting when cow bell pops up in a new song).
“Eyes” is another song where the band seems to be channeling Vampire Weekend. The clapping, vocals, and guitar sound so similar to something that would have been of Contra that I actually double checked my media player window to make sure I still had the Peter Bjorn and John album on. “Breaker Breaker” is hilarious with this surfer-like guitar rip that you would here in old surf movies, and lyrics like “Before you break my heart. Before you run. I’m gonna break your nose and sing about it.”
“(Don’t let them) Cool Off” and “Black Book” don’t seem to fit on the album, but the dark undertones are pretty refreshing to hear. “Black Book” even sounds like it could have been a left over track from Living Things. The last track of the album is called “I know you don’t love me” which has me wondering if the band was a little self conscious about releasing their new album.
While I did enjoy boppin’ my head along with the captivating melodies in Gimme Some, the overall feeling I got from this album was déjà vu. Listeners will ultimately feel like they have heard these songs before. I hated this phrase in middle school but it definitely fits Peter Bjorn and John’s new album…“I see a lot of potential, but you really just need to apply yourself.” If you have the extra money to spend, Gimme Some is not a bad album to invest in.
Almost Gold Records
© March 29th, 2011
TheWaster.com | Indie