Ulf Lundell

På Andra Sidan Drömmarna

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One of Lundell's biggest strengths has always been his almost-painful openness and his seeming need for sharing his whole person with the audience. When during the '90s his albums grew more embittered and sentimental, the personal details at times gave the songs a certain nerve, but more often just gave a whiney impression. And it was not often that Lundell managed to balance the sentimentality and anger the way he did on Måne Över Haväng, which started the decade. On På Andra Sidan Drömmarna, also very much a product of anger and sentimentality, the lyrics swell out in all directions, and using shopping centers and supermarket chains as symbols of evil and pointlessness is a little cheap for a rock poet of Lundell's caliber. But not only do the lyrics swell out, the album is a voluminous double CD with a playing time of almost two and a half hours. But if the sentimentality proves dangerous, the anger much more seldom leads Lundell astray. He spews venom in "Idiot City" and produces two excellent odes to the common man: "Du Har Ett Jobb" and "Folket Bygger Landet," the latter becoming a big radio hit. The main complaint about this album is simply the standard one about double albums: Yes, you get a few more songs for your money, but there were not enough good songs to fill up two CDs. If half was left out -- the sentimental half, mostly -- the result would have been an excellent album. The best songs are as good as any during Lundell's '90s, and though only about two songs are really bad, there is way too much filler, and many songs with loose lyrics.

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