Hello Saferide

Introducing... Hello Saferide

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Hello Saferide, also known as Annika Norlin, continues her romance with innocent, infectious indie pop on her 2005 Razzia release, Introducing.... Listeners who enjoyed the quirky pop hooks and all-around warm fuzziness of her previous work will find much of the same stuff on this release, which also boasts a fuller, more produced sound. Admittedly, one could argue that this is nothing more than more of the same cute-as-a-button indie pop that's already pumped out by the likes of Rilo Kiley or Camera Obscura. After all, all the twee trademarks are here: the tiny bells; the jaunty handclaps; the sudden arrival of the horn section. But Norlin distinguishes herself from the disconsolate, vibrato-shy flock of indie songbirds with her honesty and folky singer/songwriter sensibilities. For better or worse, she's not afraid to be earnest, even if her more confessional songs, like "I Thought You Said Summer Is Going to Take the Pain Away" or "Long Lost Pen Pal" tiptoe along the edges of high school sentimentality. If there's any fault with the album it's probably "San Francisco," which seems a bit formulaic compared to more successful songs like "My Best Friend." But it's fair to say that Norlin makes up for it with the sparse, lovely "Loneliness Is Better When You're Not Alone" and the zippy bonus track, "Highschool Stalker." Introducing... seems like just another twee indie pop album, but what sets it apart is Norlin's ability to craft some intensely likeable, deceptively thoughtful pop songs. [The 2007 reissue of the CD contains bonus tracks.]

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