In the summer of 2001, Shelflife Records re-released Casual by the Swedish band the Shermans, which was originally released in Japan on Quince Records and in the Philippines on Universal Records. The release is a collection of out-of-print early singles and compilation songs. While the first two songs sound melancholy and mournful ("The Myth of Being Alone" followed by "Happy Being Lonely"), the upbeat nature of the instrumentation expresses a different mood altogether. Besides a loneliness theme on those first two tracks, the seasons of spring and summer are both represented in song titles such as "Springtime Sunshine," "Summer in Your Heart," and "Sun Beach Summer," which are all, not surprisingly, upbeat and unabashedly happy songs. Like many bands, the Shermans released vinyl singles and appeared on compilations on various labels before releasing their first full-length CD, In Technicolour, in 1999. While the songs were not recorded for the purpose of this special collection, it still flows rather seamlessly, offering a consistent amount of cheerful, jangly, and blissful pop. The Shelflife reissue is rounded out with three special bonus tracks not available on the original versions of Casual: "Leaving Tracks," "My Animated World," and "Sun Beach Summer." Torbjorn Thorsen and Ingela Matsson trade vocal duties on the 18 songs. Thorsen has gone on as a member of the Swedish band Aerospace.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cramer