Darker Days 7/10

UNCUT - - New Albums - JohnnY shARP

swedish indie-pop song­smiths con­tinue to de­liver

Af­ter go­ing down the full-fat pop pro­duc­tion route on 2016’s Breakin’ Point, Peter, Bjorn And John rely on their own for­mi­da­ble song­writ­ing chops for this eighth stu­dio al­bum. But some­thing clearly rubbed off from those col­lab­o­ra­tions, as sparklingly pro­duced, clean-cut and sweetly tune­ful songs such as “Liv­ing A Dream” and “Gut Feel­ing” are un­der­pinned by po­tent tap-danc­ing grooves, creamy falsetto and ex­pertly crafted pop-rock hooks as if Paul Ep­worth or Greg Kurstin were there at the mix­ing desk. But when they get softly psy­che­delic on the head-swim­ming “Vel­vet Sky” or the epic “Heaven And Hell”, you’re re­minded that un­der­neath the ra­diofriendly sheen there are mav­er­ick aes­thetes still qui­etly mess­ing with our heads.

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