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CD of The Week

Week of 3/23/20

    Peter Bjorn and John - Endless Dream (INGRID)

    After 20 years as a band, Peter Bjorn and John have just released their ninth album titled Endless Dream. At this point, the Swedish collective is self-producing on their own label INGRID and the results are entirely homegrown; music is able to meet the light of day quickly and on their own terms without the confines of big studio meddling. During the genesis of this album, each of the three members contributed songs equally, then rehearsed the songs together in the studio. Post-production was handled individually and the end result is a cohesive set of indie-pop nuggets that recall their brightest moments of the past.

    Endless Dream is brighter than their last release from 2018, Darker Days, and conjures up some 70's AM Gold rhythms and melodies. The focus is mostly on their traditional guitar-bass-drums motif, with sparse keyboards and other live instrumentation peppered in. It's a simplistic approach for a band some might expect to be drowning in washes of post-production at this point in their career. What makes the tracks stand out is this same simplicity. The songwriting here is poppy, catchy, and presents a positivity needed most during these actual darker days.

    Vocalist and guitarist Peter Moren's songs are upbeat, slick and ready for airplay. "Reason To Be Reasonable" reflects a sunny disposition during difficult times: "Lost on the highway route to nowhere / But let's enjoy it til we get there." While bassist Bjorn Yttling's contributions are a little more restrained, opener "Music" is still the kind of earworm you'll appreciate. John Eriksson (drums, percussion) adds a bit more sparse experimentation to the mix. "Drama King" is mellow yet infectious, driven by a punchy bass line with a smattering of guitar and drums. Peter's "Endless Reruns" sums up the record's vibe and message over perky acoustic guitar and castanets: "Still the waves come crashin' in / Sunset for the new beginnin' / The tide clock is one thing ourselves can't choose / But it's likely hope's the last thing that we lose."

    Peter Bjorn and John's sold-out Philadelphia date at Johnny Brenda's has been rescheduled for October 10th.
    Review by Dave Lindquist

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