Miike Snow - 'Happy To You' (UK Release: 19 March '12) // Words: Rajan Lakhani
On Miike Snow’s debut record, the singles, in particular 'Animal' and 'Black And Blue', stood head and shoulders above the rest of the material on the album. The main question then on 'Happy To You' is whether the Swedish dance-pop duo could deliver a more consistent album.
There is no doubt they have made a grab for the mainstream with this record, lacking some of the more unstructured elements of their debut , which should come as no surprise given they have produced singles for Britney Spears.
Although the album begins slowly with 'Enter The Joker’s Lair', the record soon finds it feet with the military stomp of 'The Wave' and the 90s-style piano-led house of 'The Devil’s Work'. The variation between the two tracks highlights the restlessness of the record, as it persistently switches themes covering psychedelia ('Bavarian #1 (Say You Will)'), indie-folk ('God Help This Divorce') and videogame electronica ('Vase'). You can almost hear them saying with each song ‘Now, for my next trick’.
This constant shifting in the record is exhausting, making it a struggle to settle into and enjoy. For sure, the album is a better listen as a whole than the debut, but then 'Happy To You' lacks the immediacy or standouts of its predecessor. The final track 'Paddling Out' is the closest they come. A shuffling song with its stop-start piano riff, it is a hopeful, warm song that closes the record nicely.
Unfortunately, you feel 'Happy To You' is destined for background noise as the host looks for something ‘trendy’ to play. The record ticks all the right boxes but just feels too contrived and deliberate. I really wanted to like album, especially given the attention to detail in the production of the record, but ultimately left me a little cold.
'Happy To You' is available to purchase at amazon.co.uk. Find more info at miikesnow.com.