The Concretes – WYWH (Something In Construction) 8/11/2010

November 28, 2010 by  

Opening with a lazy dancers’ dance tune (as apposed to a lazy dance tune I must stress), you can barely recognize ‘Good Evening’ as track one from The Concretes new album WYWH.

In fact, aside from the smouldering vocals of Victoria Bergsman’s replacement Lisa Milberg, WYWH is almost indistinguishable from earlier Concretes albums and sees a conscious shift into disco territory – the only recognisable feature is the style in which they attempt this shift.

After getting your head round this change, ‘Good Evening’ is actually a smart number, with a bubbling bass line that sparks towards the end. Where as this disco will never get you dancing, you want to come back for another listen.

‘Crack In The Paint’ and ’I Wish We’d Never Met’ re-affirms some ‘Concreteness’ if you will, with the former putting down some groovy angst piano/organ licks amongst the echoic guitars, and the latter… well the latter doing pretty much the same thing.

As a massive fan of some quite brilliant albums from the band, and pretty much anything Victoria Bergsman has done, it’s difficult for me to remove the likes of ‘Give A Little‘, ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’, or even ‘Hey Trouble’ on previous records from my head. The unmistakable Swedish indie-pop being replaced by lounge disco beats is hard to fathom, yet taking this as a new album from a new band – it’s actually not half bad.

Although ‘All Day’ has a cringe worthy riff throughout the verses (sounds like ‘This Is Your Life‘ in a lift), the sassy chorus more than makes up for it, and as great as the funk is on ’What We’ve Become’, it’s dying to be remixed into a dance floor smash anytime soon. For a new band, it all seems like it’s (only) one step behind greatness. However The Concretes were never perfect, and their imperfections always seemed to add to their quirky charm – if the music is changing at least this quality remains, and remains successful.

Take for example the closing and title track which – as it should – reaffirms the new direction. Here they sit right in between their former indie-pop quirkiness whilst dipping a big toe into disco-pop. It’s never polished or over produced, and thankfully, it never sounds like Robyn.

One exception to the bands indie-pop departure, and for anyone else still pining for the more familiar Concretes sound, ‘Knck Knck’ is what you’ve been missing. The best thing is that rather than stick out on an album of this kind, the sentiments of disco still remain to allow it space to flourish.

Whatever you want to call WYWH – an experiment, a change in direction, or even a fresh start from a new look group, it works. If only you could call it a side-project.

[rating:4]


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