With a sound that founding member Alexander Bard has described as the missing link between ABBA and Kraftwerk, Swedish trio BwO have become one of the biggest modern schlager-pop acts of the noughties, notching up 13 Top 40 singles and four Top Ten albums in their homeland in just five years. Their fourth studio release, Big Science, adheres to the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" rule of thinking, with 14 tracks full of huge pop hooks, glossy electro production, and an unashamed sense of camp that makes the Scissor Sisters seem shy and reserved. But while the likes of "Thunderbolt," a glorious slice of filtered house produced by fellow Swedes Star Pilots, and the anthemic "Right Here Right Now," which owes more than a nod to the Killers' "Human," are highly polished party anthems, their signature sound does begin to wear a bit thin, particularly in the second half, with the likes of "Shoot from the Heart" and "You're Not Alone" all following the same formula of retro synths, four-to-the-floor beats, and spoken word interludes. Even when they venture outside their comfort zone, such as on the Motown-flavored "Burning Down the House," the Bond-esque lounge-pop of "Love Came Crashing Down," and the dramatic choral ballad "You're Not Alone" (one of their several Melodifestivalen entries), lead singer and former Pop Idol finalist Martin Rolinski's grating nasal vocal tones ensure they always sound like a naff '80s synth pop tribute act. Despite its futuristic cover art, which sees the trio pose in metallic sci-fi outfits in a Star Trek-esque gallery, Big Science is a disappointingly static offering that sounds hopelessly outdated when compared to the inventiveness of fellow Swedish electro acts Robyn and the Knife.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Jon O'Brien