Tobias Fröberg

Turn Heads

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After two albums' worth of Paul Simon-influenced singer/songwriter pop, Swedish singer/songwriter Tobias Fröberg goes for the fakeout on the first quarter of Turn Heads, delivering the manic indie pop bliss of the hyper "Blissful" and the nearly as breathless bass-driven thrust of "Slipping Under the Radar," appealingly nervy and energetic tunes that bode something different for his third go-round. But in between those two is the downcast, piano-driven ballad "She Is Becoming Her Mother Again," and that track turns out to be the keystone for the rest of Turn Heads, because the latter three-quarters of this lengthy album bring the melancholy without relief or restraint. A few songs come close to the orchestral beauty of Fröberg's countryman Jens Lekman (most notably on the simply lovely title track), but without Lekman's daffy lyrical constructs or fondness for over the top floridity. José González's acoustic minimalism doesn't really work as a comparison either, although González's well-known affection for Nick Drake is clearly a shared taste judging by tracks like the skeletal "Delicate Dance of Ghosts." More of the same isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially when the same is as high-quality as this, but "Slipping Under the Radar" and "Blissful" suggest that Tobias Fröberg has more sides to his musical personality than he has so far shown, and further exploration would be most welcome.

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