Stockholm CD
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Red Sleeping Beauty - Stockholm CD

matcd084   /   April 2019
 #redsleepingbeauty
  1. We Are Magic
  2. Always On Your Side
  3. Tonight
  4. New York City Girls
  5. A Perfect Facade
  6. Top Love
  7. Tell Me Lies
  8. Red Sleeping Beauty
  9. The Swedish Winter
  10. Don't Cry For Me, California

Long awaited fourth album from Swedish legends Red Sleeping Beauty! The trio of Niklas Angergård, Kristina Borg, and Mikael Matsson formed in the early 1990s and released a series of pop gems on the finest labels of the day including Marsh Marigold, Motorway, Sunday and Siesta.

After a 15-year disappearance, they returned in 2016 with new releases including the excellent album ‘Kristina’ on Shelflife and Labrador. The band contributed a smash hit to the ‘Matinée World Cup’ EP last year and this album marks their official first full release for Matinée.

The euphoric ‘We Are Magic’ is both the first song recorded for the album and the first song Kristina sang after defeating cancer. With swirling synthesizers and crystalline vocals, it marks an especially impressive return for the band and is the perfect opening track for the album.

With an intro that should appeal to vintage O.M.D. enthusiasts, ‘Always On Your Side’ is an indie gem featuring Niklas on lead vocals, while ‘Tonight’ is an ode to the hopes and possibilities of youthful summer nights and a hit single just waiting to happen.

‘New York City Girls’ channels early Pet Shop Boys and Kraftwerk and is surely the coolest song recorded by the band to date, and ‘A Perfect Facade’ is a sad song detailing life in a small seaside town and featuring the angelic backing vocals of Rose Suau of Shoestrings / Djustin / Invisible Twins fame.

Side two of the album opens with ‘Top Love’—a duet about everyday life and a modern synth classic complete with shameless Yazoo outro, and is followed by ‘Tell Me Lies’ featuring pop guitars, a heavenly chorus, and lyrics about having really high thoughts about yourself.

Having stolen their name from a great McCarthy single, it was only a matter of time before the band covered ‘Red Sleeping Beauty’ and now, nearly 30 years after their first recordings, their haunting version slots perfectly into the new album.

Future dancefloor filler ‘The Swedish Winter’ is the band’s most Saint Etienne moment so far—a song about the long, depressing Swedish winter and the short (one day or so), not-so-depressing Swedish summer, while album closer ‘Don’t Cry for Me, California’ begins as a power ballad but morphs into another club hit, complete with 80s Pet Shop Boys orchestral flourishes.

Mixed and mastered by sound genius Tomas Bodén (co-producer of the latest album from fellow Swedes The Radio Dept.), ‘Stockholm’ is by far the strongest set of Red Sleeping Beauty songs to date with the right amount of edge and spark to allow them to reach their true potential. The album is a modern classic and an absolutely magnificent addition to the Matinée discography.

 
reviews
Swedish dance masters approach their 30th anniversary with a fourth album that doesn’t so much wear their ‘80s influences on their sleeves as have them tattooed there permanently! This is also the first full album since singer Kristina Borg recovered from a cancer scare that led to limited involvement in their brilliant previous effort, Kristina, obviously dedicated to her and her recovery. Now that the trio (Borg, Niklas Angergård, and Mikael Matsson) is back in full force (and health) this may be their best album yet. It’s certainly one of the best we’ve heard in 2019. The synth-heavy album ticks all the right boxes (particularly if you are a student of 80s synth pop), with opener ‘We Are Magic’ (an infectious, Kraftwerk-styled dancefloor f/killer with hints of Cher’s ‘Do You Believe’ throughout the chorus scoring bonus points) serving as a statement of purpose and a resilient theme throughout the ten tracks. ‘Always On Your Side’ will have you racing for your OMD albums to spot the immediate influence (with ‘Top Love’ an easier and more obvious spot-the-influence challenge for Yazoo completists) while Borg’s gorgeous, sexy breathy vocals makes the heart pump just a little faster throughout ‘Tonight’. ‘New York City Girls’ was made for Studio 54 frivolity and sports a bitchin’ robotic vocal nod to Kraftwerk’s ‘Trans-Europe Express’.‘Tell Me Lies’ is pure bliss in the style of The Yearning, complete with unforgettable 60s-styled harmonies, and the eponymous band track ‘Red Sleeping Beauty’ may make you forget McCarthy’s original source track, even if Laetitia Sadier had arrived in time to lend her vocal talents! The fun continues with the St. Etienne-inspired floor-filler ‘The Swedish Winter’, and wraps as the spirit of the Pet Shop Boys has a pop in for finale ‘Don’t Cry For Me, California’. So if OMD, Pet Shop Boys, Visage, Yaz[oo], St Etienne, et.al. are on your dance card, drop everything and pick this up immediately. Your dancing shoes, spandex slacks, and puffy shirts will be glad you did!   --Soundblab
In our opinion April is turning out to be a good music month, and one only need to consider Stockholm to know that we are correct. No, not the city, although a friend that visited last year raved about its charms. We are referring to the new album by Sweden's Red Sleeping Beauty. Continuing their return from a long hiatus, the band proves themselves synth pop creators of the highest level, perfectly balancing pop euphoria, swirling moodiness, and club hits. For some of us, the right kind of music floods the brain with pleasure, perhaps the best natural drug on can achieve standing up. This is an album that delivers that feeling in large, glorious doses. Red Sleeping Beauty are Niklas Angergård, Kristina Borg, and Mikael Matsson. Stockholm is out now in digital and CD formats via Matinee Recordings.   --When You Motor Away
La premiata ditta pop dei Red Sleeping Beauty, guidata dal talento di Niklas Angergård, ci offre un nuovo spaccato della sua bravura con il delizioso nuovo album “Stockholm”, che fin dal titolo sembra essere una dichiarazione d’amore alla loro città d’origine. Ovviamente il piacere più grande ci arriva dal notare che, mescolata a questo delizioso synth-pop, spesso compare la voce di Kristina Borg, che ha pienamente recuperato dalla malattia che l’aveva colpita proprio durante la lavorazione del lavoro precedente. Forse proprio il fatto di non avere pensieri e preoccupazioni ha aiutato la band a costrure perfette pop song (“We Are Magic è praticamente da manuale!) che trovano sempre e con estrema disinvoltura il ritornello perfetto per entrarci in testa. Tanto euforico, ballabile e accattivante (“The Swedish Winter” diventerà un classico nel vostro dancefloor casalingo), quanto capace anche di essere più riflessivo e oscuro (“New York City Girls”) così come malinconico (“A Perfect Facade”) o zuccheroso (“Top Love”), il sound dei nostri alfieri nordici va a pescare da eroi come Pet Shop Boys e Saint Etienne per creare qualcosa che ha già il taglio del classico, fin dal primo ascolto. Se ancora ricordate i RSB per le loro magie guitar-pop, beh, sappiate che qui siamo su territori ben diversi, ma il gusto melodico è tutt’altro che scomparso. Se ancora tutto questo non vi ha convinto, beh, ricordatevi che esce per Matinée Recordings, sinonimo di grande qualità. Dovreste essere a posto adesso.   --Indie for Bunnies
När Red Sleeping Beauty släppte sitt förra album Kristina hade det gått en smärre evighet, närmare 15 år, sedan deras förra release och albumet. Den här gången behövde vi bara vänta ungefär två och ett halvt år mellan albumsläppen. Stockholm inleds med synthpoppärlan "We Are Magic" med Kristina Borg på sång. Red Sleeping Beauty tvekar inte mellan att byta mellan manlig och kvinnlig sångare för att hitta den röst som passar en låt bäst och ibland så är det Kristina Borgs och Niklas Angergårds röster som får komplettera varandra. På skivans andra spår "Always On Your Side" greppar dock Niklas Angergård mikrofonen på egen hand. "New York City Girls" har inspiration från bland andra Kraftwerk och Pet Shop Boys vilket leder till ett utmärkt slutresultat. Red Sleeping Beauty lånar även in Rose Suau som körsångerska på låten "A Perfect Facade". Rose har tidigare jobbat med Niklas bror Johan i projektet Djustin så de är inte helt främmande för varandra. Stockholm är överhuvudtaget en logisk fortsättning på förra albumet Kristina och även om den kanske inte knockar mig med samma kraft som Kristina så är det en perfekt uppföljare som når sitt absoluta klimax med Yazoo-doftande "Top Love". Sammanfattningsvis kan man dra slutsatsen att Red Sleeping Beauty lyckats igen. Bra låtar, utmärkt sång, bra produktion och en skiva som andas vår. Kristina var ett av mina soundtrack till sommaren 2016 och Stockholm kommer definitivt att vara en skiva som kommer att skina ikapp med vårsolen.   --Synth.nu