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Safety In Numbers

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Album Review

The Vaxjo-based quintet Surrounded — Sweden's answer to the Flaming Lips — creates lush, modern rock on its artfully crafted debut album, Safety in Numbers. Launched with "Linear Elevator," a mournful but captivating instrumental stomp, the disc soon drifts into the abundant soundscape of "Exit Serenade." Here, Emil Petersson's synths and Marcus Knutsson's guitar swoon in tandem around Marten Rydell's thought-provoking lyrics about flattering clowns and bigoted clones. While traces of Tom Waits and Built to Spill invade "Diesel Palace," that song's redundancies pale in comparison to melodically superior, entrancing tracks like the lilting "Pro-Files" and the soothingly orchestrated "Blood Orange Wheels." If Rydell's song-poems like "Dear Nimby Waltz" seem to be more about mood than message, one suspects that's Surrounded's point. This is an album that gives a little more away with each listen. And with adventurous songcraft like this, it's doubtful that disciples of Mercury Rev and Sparklehorse will mind dissecting pieces of this triumphant entry. ~ John D. Luerssen, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Great album.

This album is very nearly a sonic masterpiece. It's a great album to listen to if you are looking to relax or chill out. The sound is very lush and full and the songs unfold majestically. A stellar debut album!

And The Critics Say...

"One aural peek into Safety In Numbers from Surrounded and you'll chalk up another victory for Sweden, as drums crack like burning wood and synths backfire like classic Mercury Rev. And then there are melodies here that resonate the power of gospels and slide in the air like broadcast signals barely revealed underneath all the layers but always felt. Epic? Certainly. But like most Swedish bands, it isn't length or the cosmetics that make them so great; simply the gorgeous songs. Surrounded's might be longer than most of their fellow countrymen, but they're every ounce as emotionally weighted and spiritually swollen." - Lollipop "Surrounded creates a truly celestial, compelling record with Safety In Numbers that communicates a meek and frail beauty; an ultimate idea that in some ways can be touched and embraced, yet in reality is always just a fingertip away. Singer Marten Rydell is cryptic, but at the same time earnest and pleading. The ethereal, masterfully orchestrated music can sometimes disconnect one from his grim tales of kitten murders and crowds of apes, but serves to provide a shocking, invigorating reconnection." - Bandoppler "Surrounded creates lush, modern rock on its artfully crafted debut album, Safety In Numbers. Launched with Linear Elevator, a mournful but captivating instrumental stomp, the disc soon drifts into the abundant soundscape of Exit Serenade. Safety In Numbers gives a little more away with each listen, and with adventurous songcraft like this, it's doubtful that disciples of Mercury Rev and Sparklehorse will mind dissecting pieces of this triumphant entry." - Allmusic "Safety In Numbers is of the soaring, spaced-out variety; Guitarist Marcus Knutsson borrows the epic haze of Mercury Rev and Emil Petersson adds grandiose, orchestral keyboards that bring to mind Sigur Ros. It's all very innocent and playful, but you get the vague sense Surrounded may be using innocence to veil a deep political statement; the reality of American gluttony and the incompetence of our current administration are two easy targets that spring to mind. But the beauty of Safety In Numbers is that Surrounded coats these political truths in layers of gorgeous melody and opaque guitar noise. As any trickster knows, sweet always tastes better going down." - Magnet "Safety In Numbers is one of those albums that's soothing to the ears, and Surrounded have created a sound that is strange, yet beautiful at the same time. Melodic guitars, spacey synth and deep, complex lyrics make this album what it is. Sometimes sad, sometimes uplifting, these songs make you sit back and think. Marten Rydell's voice lingers in the background just like another instrument in the symphony of sound. The album is experimental, original and symphonic. Hard to believe it's their first release." - Bettawreckonize "Surrounded put together a darn good album with Safety In Numbers. Much like Grandaddy without the psychedelic meandering, the band has similarly cryptic, strikingly obtuse lyrics which sometimes take a backseat to Martin Rydell's beautiful arrangements and emotional vocal delivery. Within Safety In Numbers lie melancholy and introspective moments where there is a subtle, twinkle-of-the-eye optimism conveyed through unhurried guitar, quiet organ and sparse percussion. Layers upon layers of hushed electric guitars are lovingly wrapped around strings, ambient noise and radio chatter. Safety In Numbers is great soundtrack for quality time with oneself." - Lost At Sea "Safety In Numbers is a purposefully conceived and delicately recorded album. The time and care taken is telling when Surrounded gently seep into your stereo and wash out of your speakers. Gentle Mercury Rev-esque songs haunt and sedate you almost simultaneously as deep laments are carefully concealed within layers of metaphors and richly textured tracks. Orchestral backing on songs like On Top Of The World send the band into orbit and add an ethereal feel to their music. Calling them lo-fi would be insulting as each song is a grand project rather than a mere musical meander; synthesizers and mellotrons add a sensibility to some tracks like Blood Orange Wheels but the metronome rhythms and mood-inducing peaks ensure that Surrounded are heard in glorious surround sound." - Rock Sound


Formed: 2000 in Växjö, Sweden

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

The spacey alternative rock band Surrounded hails from Vaxjo, Sweden. Formed in 2000 by Marten Rydell (vocals, guitar) and Marcus Knutsson (guitar), the two added Emil Petersson (keyboards, sampling), Fredrik Solfors (drums), and Jesper Petersson (bass) to the lineup to properly execute their lush Wall of Sound. Influenced by Pink Floyd, the Flaming Lips, and Neil Young, the band first came to the public's attention...
Full Bio

Top Albums and Songs by Surrounded

Safety In Numbers, Surrounded
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