Stefan Sundström

Nästan Som Reklam

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On his sixth album, Stefan Sundström has exchanged the band Apache for a temporary constellation. The exclusion of drums from most of the tracks promises a different album in the genre, as does the inclusion of double bass, mandolin, and especially strings. And it does result in an album where the music reaches further than the troubadour rock that made him well-known. In "Midsommarvals" he pays homage to traditional ballads, with lyrics about a waltz on a midsummer's eve accompanied by sweeping strings. Sundström is at times quite low-voiced, like on the title track, "Nästan Som Reklam," which was the closest to having a hit he had come. The number of sad love songs is also greater than what is usual on his albums, which does not mean that Sundström is subtle or that he uses small gestures. In spite of the love songs, his main identity is still that of a protest singer, carping at social injustices or trends that have attracted his dislike, singing about failed people or painting sometimes overly allegoric pictures of society. Somewhat predictable, McDonalds and TV commercials are the symbols of evil, but when the parallels work the songs are funny and striking. At other times they are simply coarse. And, of course, being low-voiced does not include his actual voice, bleating as usual.

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