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The Hives: The Black And White Album


The Hives

Album: The Black And White Album
Label: A&M/Octone

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At some point early in their career, the members of Swedish band The Hives decided that since nothing's more fun than being in a rock band, they should behave accordingly. From this decision came the matching uniforms, the silly names, the elaborate backstory, and an aura that suggested their lives resembled the world's most enjoyable Hard Day's Night rip-off. If they didn't have insanely ingratiating music backing this behavior, they might have been insufferable.

Fortunately, The Black And White Album continues its predecessors' winning trend. There's even some branching out from the established shout-along garage-pop format, courtesy of the band's first work with outside producers. Famous fan Pharrell Williams brings a disco sheen to two tracks, and Mississippi-based producer Dennis Herring lends a sympathetic polish to several more, even bringing in some Ole Miss cheerleaders to flesh out a song. In a world gone mad, it's nice to know that at least one band remembers what rock 'n' roll is all about.