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    Peter, Bjorn & John

    living thing

    Living Thing ( 2009 )
    The Feeling / It Don't Move Me / Just the Past / Nothing to Worry About / I'm Losing My Mind / Living Thing / I Want You! / Lay It Down / Stay This Way / Blue Period Picasso / 4 out of 5 / Last Night

    The whole of the United Kingdom has been singing Peter Bjorn And John's 'Young Folks' for the past eighteen months or so. A bit of whistling, the genius pop magic of former Concretes singer/writer Victoria Bergsman. Victoria Bergsman doesn't participate on any of the tracks on 'Living Thing' so Peter Bjorn And John try almost insanely hard to work up some magic of their own and it's all a little bit hit and miss unfortunately. For a start, a cover of ELO's 'Livin' Thing' would have been hilarious. What we get instead is the actually quite excellent 'I Want You', which sounds like 'Peter Bjorn And John' have been listening to Paul Simon yet their take on Paul Simon drops the obvious world music influences and instead goes for beautiful simplicity. 'Stay This Way' sounds a bit like Squeeze but not like 'Cool For Cats' or any of their good songs, so that's unfortunate. 'It Don't Move' though should be released as a single pronto. It's enough so people will recognize this is the same band who released 'Young Folks', although without Victoria Bergsman, the pop molten gold isn't quite as high as it could be.

    'Just The Past' is 80s experimentalism. Is that even a word, it suits the track, anyway. 'Nothing To Worry About' has kids singing, probably a mistake amongst the booming drums and all. 'I'm Losing My Mind' is a step too far for those indie 'Young Folks' who have only recently latched onto Peter Bjorn And John. It sounds like Depeche Mode without any tune or elan. 'Lay It Down' should be taken outside and shot at dawn, 'Stay This Way' is hopefully not a statement of intent, 'Blue Period Picasso' and '4 Out Of 5' are just weirdly not attractive and rather clumsy pieces, as if Noel Gallagher decided to have a laugh and produce an album by former Oasis member Bonehead and take lots of acid whilst he was at it. The closing track 'Last Night' needed a proper dance makeover and there you have it. Peter, Bjorn and John have made an interesting album that needed an editor or a better producer. Perhaps those nice Swedish folk just need to stop being so willfully eccentric? We like Swedish folk though, especially the young folk.

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    this page last updated 18/05/09

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