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Before the End Begins (Audio Version)

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Album Review

The first two albums by Swedish indie outfit Thirdimension had the epic bombast of OK Computer-era Radiohead leavened with some of the pop suss of Coldplay and the other Radiohead-lite bands that followed: solid, ambitious stuff, but with just a whiff of pretension. The knowledge that the band's third album was recorded in a cathedral would normally lead one to worry that the band had tipped over the edge into Simple Minds-style self-parody, but as it turns out, the largely acoustic Before the End Begins is Thirdimension's most appealing album yet. The unplugged arrangements let most of the hot air out of the songs, and lead singer Björn Stegmann's occasionally mannered vocals sound more relaxed than ever. The reverb-heavy setting also gives the songs a bit more breathing room. That said, it's undeniable that the album's highlights are the oddball covers, of Jefferson Airplane's "3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds" and an unexpectedly effective mash-up of Blue Öyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper" (sans cowbell, sadly) and the Posies' "Dream All Day." Still, fans will appreciate hearing these stripped-down versions of favorites like "Sore Lips" and "Mondaymachine," and those who found the band's first two albums too epic for their taste may well be charmed by the lowered sense of importance on this more intimate release.


Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

Pulling their influences from classic rock, Britpop, psychedelia, and indie rock, Sweden's Thirdimension received raves in their home country's press when they released their debut, Protect Us From What We Want, in 1998 on Warner Music Sweden. Not much of an impact was made outside of their homeland until a couple of Swedish students attending the University of Illinois brought a CDR to the Parasol record label/distribution company. The two, Hanna and Michael, were hired as interns and Parasol set...
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Before the End Begins (Audio Version), Thirdimension
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