Surprise, Surprise It's Girlfrendo

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Sweden's Girlfrendo released Surprise, Surprise It's Girlfrendo in the States in 1999 on March Records. Originally released in 1998 on Bambini Records in their native Sweden, the album was a definitive twee pop classic. Sara Safari's vocals draw listeners in on the trancey opener, "Homework." The second track, the lighthearted "First Kiss Feelings vs. Everyday Sensations" offers listeners an enthusiastic dose of indie pop glee. Horns and the back-and-forth vocals of Safari and Jo Frendo add to the song's flare. Guitarist Golden Boy, bassist Nicholas, keyboardist Anders Koppel and drummer Per round out the group on this, their official introduction to America. Other highlights on the 15-song disc include the airy ballad "Make-Up" (featuring Safari's strongest vocals on the disc), the jangly and choppy "12," and the inspiring "Hallelujah," which surely served as inspiration for the Smittens later on. The disc concludes with the duet "Lose Your Face," the organ-laced groove of "Crushed," and the demure "A Reason for Every Season." Allover, a solid twee pop album. Sure to please most fans of that lighthearted, playful genre.

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