14 Songs, 53 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Writer’s Block was the stunning breakthrough album for the Swedish indie pop trio Peter Bjorn & John, following a couple of decent albums that pointed the band towards romantic pop built on stripped down instrumentation and equally naked emotional expression. A strong sense of melancholy permeates, but never overwhelms the songs, due to the use of bubbling arrangements, electronic beats, shimmering synthesizers, and Peter Moren’s wistful, heartbreaking vocal delivery. Spicing songs up with things like steel drums, bongos, insanely catchy whistling and reverb soaked vocals that evoke an out-of-body-experience are brilliant moves, and of course with lyrics as honest and direct as, “I’m all about you, you’re all about me / we’re all about each other” — well, let’s just say love is in the air in a big way, and it’s hard to feel down about that.  “Up Against the Wall” has to be seven of the most heartbreaking minutes in contemporary pop (with “Roll the Credits” providing the next six and a half!), while “Objects of My Affection” and “Start to Melt” might provide us with some of the most powerful shoegazing of the new millennium. The heart of the album is the charming and guitarless “Young Folks,” featuring those cool bongo drums and the vocal duet of Moren and Victoria Bergsman (formerly of The Concretes), a palpable testament to new love. Perfection.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Writer’s Block was the stunning breakthrough album for the Swedish indie pop trio Peter Bjorn & John, following a couple of decent albums that pointed the band towards romantic pop built on stripped down instrumentation and equally naked emotional expression. A strong sense of melancholy permeates, but never overwhelms the songs, due to the use of bubbling arrangements, electronic beats, shimmering synthesizers, and Peter Moren’s wistful, heartbreaking vocal delivery. Spicing songs up with things like steel drums, bongos, insanely catchy whistling and reverb soaked vocals that evoke an out-of-body-experience are brilliant moves, and of course with lyrics as honest and direct as, “I’m all about you, you’re all about me / we’re all about each other” — well, let’s just say love is in the air in a big way, and it’s hard to feel down about that.  “Up Against the Wall” has to be seven of the most heartbreaking minutes in contemporary pop (with “Roll the Credits” providing the next six and a half!), while “Objects of My Affection” and “Start to Melt” might provide us with some of the most powerful shoegazing of the new millennium. The heart of the album is the charming and guitarless “Young Folks,” featuring those cool bongo drums and the vocal duet of Moren and Victoria Bergsman (formerly of The Concretes), a palpable testament to new love. Perfection.

TITLE TIME

More By Peter Bjorn and John

You May Also Like