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CD of The Week

Week of 10/29/18

    Peter Bjorn and John - Darker Days (INGRID)

    Has it really been a dozen years since Peter Bjorn and John whistled their way into the American indie rock scene with their hit "Young Folks?" The Swedish trio has released a number of consistent records since then, and earlier this month put out Darker Days, their eighth studio album.

    Darker Days is a bit more mid-tempo, atmospheric and melodic than PB&J's last few records. There's nothing as in-your-face as the guitars of their 2 Broke Girls theme song "Second Chance." However, that doesn't mean there isn't plenty to enjoy on this record.

    Despite the title, the new songs don't seem to totally dwell on these troubling times we live in. While "Silicon Valley Blues" focuses on digital surveillance, "Gut Feeling" examines a relationship in a rocky patch and the lovely "Living A Dream" is grateful for "living the life that I believed that I would lead when I was" 5, 10, 12, etc years old.

    Songs such as "Every Other Night" and "One For The Team" also showcase the warm, accessible production style of Darker Days. It's always more than just guitar/bass/drums while never getting bogged down by too much studio tinkering. There's constantly a great beat and interesting instrumentation in the mix. Album highlight "Wrapped Around the Axel" isn't far off from the currently in-vogue sonics of Portugal. The Man, for example.

    The songs of Darker Days never ascend to the highest of PB&J heights but the album is a great listen start-to-finish from a band who are no longer young folks but still have plenty of bright days ahead.
    Review by Joey O.

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