Studio Album by released in 2010
WYWH's tracklist:
Good Evening
My Ways
Crack in the Paint
I Wish We'd Never Met
All Day
What We've Become
Oh My Love
Knck Knck
Sing for Me

WYWH review

The Concretes takes a new direction

It is now a decade and a half that the Swedish band The Concretes is known well to the world and does not need to be presented. Its eponymous debut album was highly acclaimed both by critics and audience, and its follow-up In Colour never disappointed either. Such a promising beginning could easily have a continuation but the situation changed. Soon after the sophomore effort’s release the vocalist Victoria Bergsman left the group to pursue her solo project Taken By Trees, and the next creation Hey Trouble released in 2007 saw Lisa Milberg as the lead vocalist. That album was different from the previous material with the accent on arrangements that enriched Lisa’s vocals with saturated orchestration. Although the fans were not happy with Victoria’s leaving they appreciated the band’s efforts on Hey Trouble and decided to wait and see what was going to be next. This year The Concretes releases its second album with the vocalist, WYWH, taking a new direction. This time the folk, rock and pop melodies have given way to danceable motifs, and Milberg’s light vocals combine perfectly well with disco beats and a slight retro flavor.

A very light and pleasant atmosphere on WYWH

The previous album has shown that The Concretes is able to surprise no matter what line-up it is WYWH is the best way to confirm that. Non-standard percussion, sampled beats, and soft unobtrusive vocals – this cocktail creates a very light and pleasant atmosphere which never gets heavy and is free of any dashes. Besides, the album consists of ten tracks which do not even last forty minutes which is right enough to have some rest and enjoy this nice pop-music. The record opens with the first single Good Evening demonstrating at once the changes in the band’s sounding combining dance trends with folk’s softness. The sounds of accordion on My Ways underline the sad lyrics but the interesting clapping and bass beat never allow the listener to surrender to these negative feelings. The slow psychedelic composition Crack In The Paint conquers with unusual metaphors and a deep accompaniment with trip-hop elements which would not be out of place on a Portishead’s album. One of the most vivid and incendiary numbers is All Day – disco is continuing to celebrate its existence making you go dancing and be happy with life. A bit heavier but no less contagious song What We've Become is built on cosmic sound effects whereas the most romantic and dreamy moment is Oh My Love, reminding of The Concretes’ earlier works with its atmosphere though the vocal part is obviously much weaker here. A very beautiful fantastic ballad Sing For Me is filled with mysterious alien sounds, and the closing title track takes us back to the beginning of the album, to the starting point and back into the real world.

The result exceeds expectations

There is nothing unique about The Concretes’ story as a great deal of bands change their line-up more than once, vocalists come and go, and it is impossible to satisfy all the fans. The fact remains, however, that many thought the Swedish collective’s success ended with Victoria’s leaving, and the album Hey Trouble slightly marred its reputation. Luckily the musicians have fully recovered on WYWH. Such successful tracks as the first single and All Day prove that the band has chosen the right direction though judging by all it is hard for The Concretes to refuse the slow and sad pop folk numbers that shone on the first two releases. Therefore it has recorded some beautiful ballads for WYWH adopting the old method of compensating Victoria’s absence with a perfect instrumental background, and the result exceeds expectations, indeed. Like Victoria Lisa has also decided to record music independently but is not going to leave The Concretes, at least for now, hence, one of the most successful Swedish bands is certainly going to stand its ground and is surely preparing more surprises to follow.

Alexandra Zachernovskaya (14.01.2011)
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