Comprising Uno Svenningsson (vocals), Arne Johansson (guitar) and Mats Johansson (drums; no relation), Swedish trio Freda’ possess a distinctive musical character emphasized by Svenningsson’s somewhat shrill singing. Influenced by vocalists such as Shane MacGowan and Tom Waits, Freda’ nevertheless provide a more upbeat rock/pop model than might be envisaged. Indeed, Freda’ have endured frequent comparisons with U2 because of their dense, multi-textured sound. Like U2, Freda’ have also suffered from being perceived as ‘Christian rockers’. Specifically, they were awarded a Swedish Grammy as Best Religious Artists in the mid-80s. Their refusal to accept the award resulted in its subsequent abolition from the awards ceremony. Albums such as Tusen Eldar (A Thousand Fires), Undan För Undan (Little By Little) and Alla Behöver (Everybody Needs) have consecutively refined and expanded on their U2 influence, gradually producing greater commercial rewards as Freda’ grow into a virile commercial domestic alternative to imported ‘conscious rock’. While Tusen Eldar achieved gold status, their second and third albums each achieved platinum status.
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