Roxette

Good Karma

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AllMusic Review by

Following the comeback Charm School by five years, Good Karma finds Roxette in a fairly subdued mood. This isn't to say the duo avoids hooks, dynamics, or even faster beats. All three surface on the record's title track and Roxette often return to a steady electronic pulse, sometimes honing it with enough precision to turn it into a neo-disco trifle ("This One"), sometimes polishing it so it's sleek and urban in a manner not dissimilar to Ellie Goulding ("Some Other Summer"); they also play around with jagged rhythms, hiccupping singing, and vocoders on "20 bpm," which proceeds at a tempo just slightly faster than its billing. Despite the welcome quickening of the tempo, most of Good Karma plays like big, polished power ballads, possibly because these kinds of tunes do dominate the record. Even if the scale didn't tip toward the slow ones, the album would still feel like it was soft because Roxette deliberately excise the fizziness that fueled their big hits all in a conscious attempt to play toward their middle age. In that regard, Good Karma is a success -- it's a mature Roxette album that doesn't disavow their past -- but it's hard not to miss the bubblegum Euro style of Look Sharp!

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