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More Modern Short Stories from Hello Saferide

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Album Review

Hello Saferide's second album is called More Modern Short Stories from Hello Saferide, in perhaps self-effacing but apt reference to the literary qualities of journalist/frontwoman Annika Norlin's frequently verbose songwriting. Coincidentally or not, the most inspired moments here, musically as well as lyrically, come when she dresses up her typically autobiographical/confessional mode with an injection of creative fiction: the martial "Overall," wherein she and producer Andreas Mattsson role play concerned parents fretting over their neo-Nazi son (shades of XTC's "No Thugs in Our House"); the rocking "Middle Class," which indulges in Bonnie and Clyde fantasies about a complete stranger; and standout first single "Anna," which imagines the charmed life of an overacheiving daughter she could have had with an ex. Of course, it's not too hard to hear Norlin's neuroses and insecurities playing out in these flights of fancy, but at least they offer a bit of psychological distance that's missing from slightly cringe-worthy fare like "25 Days" (Norlin as needy new girlfriend), the teenage sex diary "X Telling Me...," and "Parenting Never Ends," in which she asks her mother to take her back into the womb (Norlin clearly has parenting on the brain.) It's not that she lacks the verbal facility or pop sense to make this material worthwhile, but engaging with Hello Saferide means engaging with Norlin's personal psychodramas and emotional fatalism, and not every listener will feel comfortable or invested enough to do that. For those who are, Modern Short Stories offers a somewhat more mature, less giddy, but no less charmingly complicated version of the young woman who was introduced on Introducing, with couple of lovely Swedish folk-pop ballads ("Lund" and "Arjeplog") to boot. ~ K. Ross Hoffman, Rovi


Formed: Sweden

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Hello Saferide's cheery pop/rock is primarily the work of Annika Norlin, a Swedish music journalist and radio DJ who launched her songwriting career in the early 2000s. Although Norlin had written songs in the past, she hadn't released any material until 2004, when the burgeoning songwriter uploaded her first recordings to the Internet. She quickly received label interest, and in September 2005, the Swedish label Razzia Records released Introducing... Hello Saferide. A live band was quickly assembled,...
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More Modern Short Stories from Hello Saferide, Hello Saferide
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