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Play Review

by Jonathan Widran

Some of the best teen pop productions these past few years have emerged from Sweden, so it was only a matter of time before Swedish-born teens would make a move on the American pop scene. This young, female, Stockholm quartet, Play, was definitely formed with the ideas of "product" and "packaging" in mind, but its members harmonize quite beautifully under the direction of heavies like Rick Wake, Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken, and Anders "BAG" Bagge (who was responsible for bringing them to Sony Music), and Arnthor Birgisson. At 24 minutes, it more or less plays like a mini-disc, but its pure pop pleasure -- strong hooks, funky grooves, fluffy but irresistible -- all the way. The original tracks like "Us Against the World" and party-oriented "Disco Hippie" are pure fun, but young girls whose parents expose them to older music might also enjoy the soulful cover of "Hopelessly Devoted To You" (renamed "Hopelessly Devoted"), and the old R&B classic "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me."

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