The Leslies

Totally Brilliant

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The first album by Sweden's the Leslies falls squarely into the mid-'90s Swedish indie scene (Eggstone, the Cardigans, Cinnamon, etc.). The guitars jangle, the backing vocals go "la-la," and the quirky love-song lyrics are delivered in the artless voice of singer Martin Berndtsson, who at times bears a small vocal resemblance to early Nick Lowe. Tore Johansson, who has produced nearly every band in the entire country, gives the album his usual retro-pop gloss, with widely separated stereo channels and a bright gloss of reverb on everything. In other words, there's really not much on Totally Brilliant that hasn't been heard before. That said, the young quintet plays their really quite catchy songs with youthful verve and playful wit, and as derivative as Totally Brilliant might be, a few of the songs do live up to the album title, particularly the soaring opener "A Daydream" and the bopping in-joke "Discoking."

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