To get the formalities out of the way, Miike Snow is not a singer/songwriter named Mike. Miike Snow isn't even a he, actually. It's an indie-electro pop trio, made up of singer Andrew Wyatt of Fires of Rome and Swedish (hence the double "i" in the name) mega producers Chris Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg, otherwise known as Bloodshy & Avant. Those familiar with Bloodshy & Avant's track record -- working with Britney Spears, Madonna, and Kylie Minogue -- will know that they're capable of making top-notch pop gloss geared for the dancefloor. But the question here is, "can they create music that isn't designed for club-goers and teeny boppers?" With their self-titled release, they do make light, inoffensive pop with twinkling synths and unshakable choruses, but it's a pretty substantial shift in style from their past gigs. Consistent throughout, the album's more suited for a coffee shop or a Sunday morning drive than a night out with the girls, with its fill of slick mid-tempo beats and Swedish twee glee. Starting with a hook that doesn't sound too far off from a Vampire Weekend cut (not a surprising reference point, since Miike Snow's repertoire of remixes includes a version of "The Kids Don't Stand a Chance"), dubby synths circulate around flighty vocals with heavy sentiments: "I change shapes just to hide in this place, but I'm still, I'm still an animal." Slight of hand seems to be one of the group's best tricks, as they take lyrics with moody undertones to unexpectedly joyous heights. When the second track, "Burial" -- a slice of pop that's as instantly accessible as the first -- starts with the line, "Misery is all we know lately," the music box keyboards never hint at anything but a sweet little ditty. Production tricks are used just enough to keep the sound fresh as Karlsson and Winnberg rifle through their folders of synth sounds and plug-ins, all the while adding arpeggiated bleeps, Moog pads, and the occasional octave effect to enhance vocal parts. As talented as they are, they could have easily gone overboard with the studio wizardry, but they show enough restraint to never break the illusion that this is a simple, easy listening, electro-pop record. There's no lack of artists making similar sounding music -- MGMT, Pop Levi, White Williams, and even Animal Collective come to mind -- but Miike Snow is ambitious and fun enough that they're worth checking out.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Lymangrover