The Mary Onettes: Islands

The Mary Onettes: Islands

B

The Mary Onettes

Album: Islands
Label: Labrador

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The Mary Onettes weren’t shy about their love for the alternative side of ’80s pop on their self-titled debut, and the follow-up, Islands, finds the Swedish quartet still pining for the days when all it took to see a Smiths or New Order video was flipping to MTV on Sunday at midnight. But while the 2007 offering often turned into a game of spot-the-influence—the aforementioned alt-rock heavyweights, plus Echo And The Bunnymen, The Jesus And Mary Chain, and The Cure were all accounted for— Islands’ dreamy pop features a more general feeling of throwback moodiness. The shift bodes well for Philip Ekström’s longevity as a songwriter, and even though there are times when the nostalgic sound seems to be begging for hooks huge enough to make the band a household name (at least to kids dancing at indie nights a few decades from now), there’s no denying that The Mary Onettes know their way around a dramatic pop song. The sonic reminiscence is complemented by Ekström looking back on the past, as on excellent songs like “The Disappearance Of My Youth” and “Century,” which includes the lines, “So what’s in your heart when you talk about those days when you were young?” Judging from another highlight, the first single, “Puzzles,” he’s answered his own call: “I’m going out to stay up all night / Let’s talk about what feels strange on the inside / Let’s make this year look good tonight.”

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