Peter Bjorn and John

Peter Bjorn and John

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Peter Bjorn and John's first album (2002's Peter Bjorn and John) is a rambunctious and thrilling blast of energy, promise, and well-crafted hooks. The trio took their time before releasing the album (they formed in 1999), and the time spent honing their craft paid off. The songs are memorable, the performances tight and nuanced, the production flawless. It sounds like the work of a band at the very top of their game (though later records show they were just getting going). The writing is split for the most part between Peter and Björn, with the former firmly following the Beatles/Costello path of frantic pop with a twist, the latter pulling songs from no discernible source, though some like "Falling and Passing" are loosely based in new wave. The best of the batch (like "I Don't Know What I Want Us to Do," "Matchmaker," "People They Know," and "100 Meters of Hurdles") will end up on their inevitable greatest-hits collection, while the rest are merely examples of the best indie rock/pop of the early 2000s. Peter Bjorn and John may have made a big splash in 2006/2007, but this record shows they were swimming with the big boys from the very beginning.

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