Friday, May 18, 2007

ALBUM REVIEW: "Prayer for the Weekend" - The Ark

Long-awaited album from one of Sweden’s finest and most distinctive bands of recent years.
They may have reached their biggest audience ever by representing Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest, which resulted in glorious failure of course, but this band is so good that they will emerge with credibility intact, thanks to this mature and very impressive album.
If you’re looking for comparisons, The Ark are the band The Darkness could have been, were it not for the dodgy falsetto and subsequent difficulties related to the rock n’ roll lifestyle.
Lead singer Ola Salo is a compelling, attractive and fascinating frontman although there is a risk that his image is becoming more of a glam rock caricature of late. His vocals are also more toned down here - there are no over the top displays like on, say, "Father of A Son" but the result is a more easy on the ear slice of radio-friendly pop-rock which could be their biggest success to date - that is, if the Swedes forgive them for wrecking their sacred Eurovision final slot for 2008.
Their music formula is a winner - top tunes, killer choruses ("Little Dysfunk You" and "All I Want Is You" are firmly lodged in my brain) - and some very interesting lyrics. For a band whose English is not their native language, Salo’s way with words is outstanding, even if there are a few naughty words and ideas along the way, and one very bad word - yes that one, the one you shall not speak - (in "Death to the Martyrs") nevertheless this song has a hilarious chorus.
After one listen: I like it.
After two listens: completely hooked.
After three listens: already a contender for album of the year. Yes, that good.

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