Sounds of Futures Past
While it seems commonplace now, when The Sounds emerged four years ago, New Wave was a spirit long absent from rockâ€šÃ„Ã´s heady cocktail. No one delivered with the authenticity of The Sounds, with syncopated rhythms, angular melodies, driving bass lines and bleepy synths striking a tone that A&R guys would have fallen all over themselves to sign circa 1979. Their sophomore effort Dying To Say This To You is exactly what their early fans have been waiting for. Producer and kindred spirit Jeff Saltzman (The Killers) channels their raw, retro ambitions into a more complex record than their first, boasting better song structures, deeper hooks and catchier melodies. Dying To Say This To You narrowly avoids disaster in some places. The low points come off like 80s novelty, reaching for Blondieâ€šÃ„Ã´s greatness but coming up Bananarama, yet this near miss makes for a very fun ride. The highlights are everything New Wave should be: energetic, danceable and savvy, like on the driving and catchy â€šÃ„ÃºPainted By Numbers,â€šÃ„Ã¹ the sleazy-rockinâ€šÃ„Ã´ opener â€šÃ„ÃºSong With A Missionâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and the quirky, pulsing dance vibe of â€šÃ„ÃºTony The Beat.â€šÃ„Ã¹ The Sounds ace-in-the-hole is singer Maja Ivarsson, radiating Deborah Harryâ€šÃ„Ã´s sexy swagger with a shot of Joan Jettâ€šÃ„Ã´s aggression. Her voice is lovely yet barely contained, smoldering in places. The weak spot for the band remains their lyrics, but The Sounds are so fun and danceable that it probably doesnâ€šÃ„Ã´t even matter. For fans of New Waveâ€šÃ„Ã´s past or its present there is a lot to love here and if you missed Missing Persons or The Motels the first time around, put this disc on and listen to what the future used to sound like.