Wednesday, August 13, 2008
pacific! - Reveries
I'm not down with the whole Guilty Pleasures thing. Why should you feel guilty about liking music you love? Is there a need to hide stuff in case you're exposed as not cool enough? I like The Final Countdown by Europe and Careless Whisper by George Michael (there - said it!) and I can't see what there is to be embarrassed about there.
I mention this, because the new album by Swedish duo pacific! mines a rich seem of what might be called guilty pleasures. It's a proper Balearic record, but not in the sense of TOP IBIZA CHILL OUT CLASSIX compilations, but in the old-fashioned sense of anything goes as long as it's good and makes sense, an attitude that saw the likes of Chris Rea's On the Beach and other soft rock classics being blared from Ibizan terraces whilst addled clubbers went wild with joy. Danny Hogberg and Bjorn Synneby have amassed a lifetime's musical loves and influences on Reveries, and they're not ashamed of any of them, so they're as happy displaying affection for cheesy 80s synth pop as they are for more classic, 'credible' reference points. So we have the ghosts of terminally unfashionable groups like A-ha and ELO, sitting happily alongside The Beach Boys and other summery West Coast American idols. The song Disappear manges even to recall both Ticket to Ride and Maggie May within the space of a few seconds. Elsewhere, there are flavours of more contemporary lounge acts, like Air and Lemon Jelly.
So guilty pleasure it certainly ain't. It's a near-perfect summer album, full of shimmery electropop to cheer the spirits even in the dampest of London Augusts. I doubt that many readers of this blog have the opportunity to cruise down a palm-lined freeway in an open-topped car, but if you do, you know what to stick on the hi-fi.
mp3: pacific! - Disappear
mp3: pacific! - Silent Running
mp3: pacific! - Sunset Blvd (Popular Computer Remix)
The album Reveries is out in the UK next week on the excellent Half Machine Records. You can currently buy the import vinyl at Rough Trade. It's preceded this week by a single - a 12" release of Sunset Blvd, with a few remixes (buy from Rough Trade too). None of these can touch the glory of the original, but the Popular Computer one does a decent job of keeping the best bits without messing it up too much.