Acid House Kings

Sing Along with Acid House Kings

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The Acid House Kings' third album, Sing Along with Acid House Kings, is a small but important step forward for the band. They were along among the top tier of artists in the world of indie pop/chamber pop/makes-you-feel-good-even-when-you-are-melancholy pop but now they are firmly planted right in front. The album is thrilling in a low-key and sweet manner, filled with songs that you'll be humming for weeks. The gentle "That's Because You Drive" starts the album off in the usual (quite nice) AHK fashion. Bathed in synth strings and icy crisp boy-girl harmonies courtesy of Niklas Angergard and Julia Lannerheim, the song is like a frost-kissed version of Belle & Sebastian with a dollop of fellow Swedes the Cardigans mixed in. The rest of the record follows suit for the most part but also reflects some of Johan Angergard's production techniques he utilized on the Legends album (if you don't have it, stop what you are doing and get your hands on a copy now!): namely handclaps, high school band bells, heartily pounded tambourines, slightly distorted vocals, and an exciting overall feel of indie pop meets Motown. Tunes like "Do What You Wanna Do," "This Heart Is a Stone," and "Sleeping" have a pep in their step that the band never had before. The up-tempo songs (such as the disco-fied "Tonight Is Forever" and the rollicking "I Write Summer Songs for a Reason") are lighter than the breeze and almost all kitted out in heart-pounding swooning choruses. The ballads too are all imaginatively produced as well and are quite touching, namely the aching "Will You Love Me in the Morning?" and "The Saturday Train." The Angergard brothers have delivered an indie pop gem with Sing Along; shiny and bright enough to hook you, deep and emotional enough to reel you in, it's the kind of record you play for your friends, feature on your blog, and play over and over even when no one is around. As a bonus the record comes with a bonus disc with a very witty premise. It's a karaoke disc with visuals (mostly of bandmembers doing things like making coffee, playing ping pong, and reading books) that play behind the instrumental versions of the songs as the words scroll along the bottom of the frame. The vocal versions with the same visuals are also included as are videos for "Do What You Wanna Do," "7 Days," and "Say Yes If You Love Me." The disc is a real labor of love and provides the group's fans with something really special for no extra cost. What a concept! It all adds up to one of the best releases, indie or not, of 2005.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
blue highlight denotes track pick