CD Living Thing [Peter Bjorn and John] (CD 6667413),
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Living Thing [Peter Bjorn and John]

  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 1795826

  • Credits
    Producer
    Engineer

    After the surprise success of their 2006 album, WRITER'S BLOCK, the Swedish indie-rock act Peter Bjorn and John could have opted for a quick follow-up that capitalized on the upbeat vibe of their buoyant hit, "Young Folks." Instead, they unveiled a mostly instrumental collection of willfully quirky tunes (SEASIDE ROCK), singer/guitarist Peter Moren issued a subdued solo debut (THE LAST TYCOON), and the trio finally reconvened for a full-fledged studio offering, 2009's LIVING THING. Largely avoiding the overt pop melodies and shoegazer atmospheres of PB&J's earlier work, the record frequently settles into a chilly electro-tinged aesthetic, as evinced on the icy opener, "The Feeling." Other standout tracks include the kid-assisted, beat-heavy "Nothing to Worry About" and the spare title tune, songs that play up the group's eccentricities, and reveal their charms only on repeated listens.

  • Critic Reviews
    Rolling Stone (p.82) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "The melodies are winsome throughout, but LIVING THING is a record for beat mavens, with clattery drum-programming propelling songs that nod to Depeche Mode and South African township jive."
    Spin (p.82) - "[I]t's an uneasy, bracingly honest soundtrack to life after fame....'Losing My Mind' is all broken wind-chime clangs....The radio-catchy 'Lay It Down' features skull-cracking synths..."
    Alternative Press (p.114) - 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "Dark beats drive 'I'm Losing My Mind,' and a hint of Paul Simon world music punctuates the title track....This is an album of spontaneous originality and should be appreciated as such."
    Blender (Magazine) (p.62) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "The sound matches lyrics about isolation and despair, achieving a freeze-dried catchiness in the opening songs."
    Paste (magazine) (p.61) - "[T]he three tunesmiths augment robot riffs and splashy drums with very human handclaps and vocal bass lines....The band earns high marks for proving their hooks can translate into any stylistic language."
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