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Tomhet, Idel Tomhet

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Album Review

The title of the third album from Swedish indie rockers [Ingenting], Tomhet, Idel Tomhet, translates as "Emptiness, Nothing But Emptiness," suggesting these folks have embraced the gloom that's so often acknowledged as part of their national character, though to listen to the music, they seem to have picked up their morose side from Robert Smith as much as Ingmar Bergman. Like the Cure in their classic era, [Ingenting] have mastered the art of sounding dour and gloriously poppy at the same time; all ten songs on Tomhet, Idel Tomhet are sung in Swedish, making it difficult for most North Americans to figure out just what they're about, but the vocals clearly strive for an angsty, world-weary feel as the music often soars with hooky majesty overhead despite occasional dips into minor keys, especially on the opening tune "Halleluja!" as crashing guitars, keyboards, and even bells sound out the tune, and "Medan Vi Sov," which boasts a guitar line Johnny Marr might have envied back in the day. But [Ingenting] aren't just about happy music and bummed-out vocals — sometimes they're about bummed-out music, too, especially on the album's two longest tracks, the languid "Dina Hander Ar Fulla Av Blommor" and the closer, "Lat Floden Komma," a piano-based melody which, like the river referenced in its title, drifts along slowly and deliberately for more than ten minutes. [Ingenting] clearly know how to write a handsome tune and their skills in the studio are top-notch; the best moments of Tomhet, Idel Tomhet are beautiful and strikingly accomplished, with a sure command of how to use the studio and make the most of dynamics, but they succeed just well enough that you might just want to be certain your anti-depressants have kicked in before hitting the play button.

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