Pop review: Peter Bjorn and John, Living Thing

(Wichita)

Pop bands usually try to follow a worldwide hit with something that will build on their achievement. Swedish trio Peter Bjorn and John have taken the opposite tack, trying to undermine any expectations the whistletastic Young Folks might have raised. It's not so much that Living Thing doesn't have good songs, more that they have been arranged in such a way as to conceal their appeal: for much of the time, this is an album of bass and electronic percussion, with Peter Moren's thin voice expected to provide all the melodic interest. One yearns for the clever instrumentation and arrangments of their last album, Writer's Block, and so when a song arrives with any flesh on it at all - the Lion-King-goes-indie of the title track, or lead single Nothing to Worry About with its school choir - it comes as a blessed relief. Peter Bjorn and John haven't lost it, they've deliberately thrown it away.

Contributor

Michael Hann

The GuardianTramp

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