Artist - Acid House Kings
Album - Music Sounds Better With You
Release - March 22 2011 Labrador Sweden
Acid House Kings have a lengthy but sparse career as one of the many Swedish twee/indie/ironically sensitive pop bands of the last twenty years. While their sound has always been great, I have never held in the same esteem as I do other contemporary pop out fits like Belle and Sebastian, Camera Obscura or Jens Lekman. With Music Sounds Better with You their first album since 2006's Sing Along With the Acid House Kings, the band have hit the other world popedelic atmosphere.
The band's previous releases found the trio consistently honing in on that perfect pop sound. While this sound tickles the ears and the heart, their interpretation lacked the character which really make the aforementioned groups stand out. This releases breaks that trend by picking up the tempo early on and never letting go. There is not one shoe-gazey foot dragger on here. Through out the album is a certain joyous air that strings together the ten songs. The album is a consistent, captivating listen by never second guessing the delivery of that joy, indulging in the graces of vocal harmonies and syncopated hand claps.
While the back beat stays thumping, the heart does skip a beat here and there. It is hard to convey melancholy and or romantic dread through the lens of shiny pop music with out coming off as hokey or over indulgent. AHK pull it off brilliantly here, offering the world another avenue to smile through the ache. While the song writing remains fairly obtuse, this is music inspired by and written for those who have had, or hope to one day have, their heart broken.
FRANK'S FINAL JUDGEMENT: A-