The Sugarcubes

Stick Around for Joy

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While not as adventurous or stunning as their debut (Life's Too Good), the Sugarcubes' swan song release (Stick Around for Joy) contains enough quality material to see them out in style. Amid producer Paul Fox (10,000 Maniacs, They Might Be Giants, Semisonic)'s compact backdrops, Björk and Einar Orn lead the band through a fast-paced and funk-inflected mix of arthouse pop. With Siggi Baldursson's syncopated drums and Thor Eldon's glossy indie guitar in the forefront, Björk expectedly pounces on each song with her acrobatic pipes; thankfully, Orn keeps his usually spastic vocal interjections to a minimum, often opting for some fine trumpet accents instead. Moving from the multi-vocal nuances of the opener, "Gold," to the relatively straightforward delivery heard on the tidy "Hit," Björk proves that her subsequent solo career was inevitable and necessary -- she sounds at times as if the band's relatively narrow musical approach is straitjacketing her, especially on the presciently titled "Leash Called Love." While the curious will only need to pick up Life's Too Good, the Sugarcubes faithful will no doubt want to check this disc out.

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