A State of Mind

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Coming in nearly a full decade past the sell-by date for this style of music, the debut album by Sweden's E.M.D. is -- no kidding -- a full-on boy band record in the classic frosted-tips and artfully distressed leather jackets style of the Backstreet Boys. It gets better: the opening track and debut single is a cover of "All for Love," that horrifically treacly Mutt Lange song that Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart, and Sting rode into elevators worldwide back in 1993. It gets better still: the three members of E.M.D. -- Danny Saucedo, Erik Segerstedt, and Mattias Andréasson -- were all runners-up and also-rans on Sweden's version of Pop Idol. So yes, it's very much like if David Archuleta, Elliott Yamin, and Sanjaya got a band together. There is not a single moment on A State of Mind that doesn't reek of music industry cynicism and hackery, from the shockingly unimaginative song titles ("Run to You"! "Alone"! "For You"! "You"! Not one of these is a cover of the better-known songs by these titles, incidentally) to the flagrant use of Autotune and other processed-cheese effects in the by-rote vocal and musical arrangements. It's arguable that there might be a market for this sort of thing, but even the most musically indiscriminate tweens have standards, and this only barely meets them.

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