Imperiet

Blå Himlen Blues

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For their debut album, Imperiet used some songs that had been intended for Ebba Grön, a fact that can be heard in both the lyrics and the music. On Blå Himlen Blues, a darker sound, containing less rock & roll, had taken over. Labeled as alternative rock, it was more alternative in attitude and in lyrics than musically, except perhaps for the synth harmonies on "Surabaya-Johny." This was a Kurt Weill/Bertolt Brecht song first recorded in Swedish by Pugh Rogefeldt in 1968, but Imperiet's version became a much bigger hit. If not Imperiet's best album, Blå Himlen Blues did define the band as something totally different than Ebba Grön and thus started a new era for Swedish alternative pop. The shift from political punk and high-energy rock to introspective pop wasn't totally unproblematic though. The new style works fine in the more aggressive songs, where Thåström's explosiveness comes to its right, but when the band tries a love ballad, like "Holländskt Porslin," it is all too obvious that they are where they have never been before and the lyrics are pretty embarrassing. Overall the lyrics of the album lack the focus that made the lyrics of Ebba Grön so brilliant in all their simplicity, and the early albums by Imperiet also suffer from lacking some of Ebba Grön's attitude. But no matter the flaws, Blå Himlen Blues is a classic Swedish alternative album and has had an impact on a large number of groups, both alternative and mainstream.

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