The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Europop

Lucky old Alphabeat. I buy all the singles off their album on iTunes, then I get the album and they get paid all over again. My own fault I suppose.

It’s a curious thing that the memo which was sent out during the late 80’s, informing everyone that the 80’s would soon be coming to an end, doesn’t seem to have been received in Scandinavia. Which is a good thing – it was a bad memo which should never have been sent. As a result, while the rest of the world ploughed on with brit-pop and hip-hop and what-not, they were still bouncing up and down behind their DX7s singing songs about discos.

This strange isolation, with its own synth scene and music festivals, led to the formation of many wonderful bands. Alphabeat are rather like The Wannadies, back when The Wannadies only sounded like The Pixies during the choruses rather than sounding like The Pixies all the bloody time. They do the same bloke-singing-the-melody/cute-girl-an-octave-above thing.

The fabulous singles weigh down the first half, plus the introductory Fantastic 6 which has a sort of B-52’s thing. Second half things get weirder and more interesting. Touch Me Touching You’s very Heaven 17, while the enigmatic Rubber Boots is like Nik Kershaw before he went dreary. And finally there’s Nothing But My Baby – I’m guessing somebody must’ve smuggled Depeche Mode’s Songs Of Faith And Devotion into Denmark.

The only mis-fire is the cover of Public Image which sounds like the theme tune to a 80’s children’s drama series. In fact, that’s Alphabeat all over – they sound those bands you get in kids' TV shows where the kids have decided to get together and form their own youth club pop group.

Oh, and ten bonus points for getting the word ‘erasure’ into a lyric!

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