Review: Alice in Videoland – A Million Thoughts and They’re All About You

We’ve noted before we have a super-soft spot for Alice in Videoland. Despite the sometimes-cheesy posing, the overly affected sense of “we’re bad, we’re naughty, we’re punk, despite the synthesizers”, we love AiV for the niche they so expertly fill. At first listen we were sorely disappointed with this album. It felt too glammed, too glitzy and the edgier side of the band seemed left behind altogether. But on repeated listens we’ve become entranced by this collection. Now we’re full-on digging the album.

With each album the band seem to go deeper down the electronic rabbit hole and while the sheen makes one miss the grittier side of the band it’s sonically arresting and a real grower.

It’s not all kittens and roses. A strange, unnecessary take on “I Sing the Body Electric” drags the affair to a halt and the mundane “Bender” adds nothing but the balance of the album kicks along at a great pace and never feels unwelcome. There’s no great new strides made here, no new directions that set the world afire, just solid, really well done electroclash.  And an album we uncategorically love to bits.

We’re always going to be predisposed to like this band’s work but the more we dig a band, the harder we tend to be on them (see: reviews of latest albums by Goldfrapp, Mesh). And while taking as jaded a view of A Million Thoughts and They’re All About You as we could manage, it still shines through. There are some nice discoesque flourishes in tracks like “In a Band”, and “Little Bird” and in fact there’s a real disco edge throughout the album, right down to the roller-rink-evocative cover art, and it works on this band. While still lyrically edgy the music is softened into a disco pastiche that blends beautifully with the band’s essential ethic. It works better than one might have thought it would. And while it’s no great surprise that singer Toril Lindqvist is as beautiful as ever, it is nice to report she has never been in finer voice.

A great way to go out with out last original review of 2010 – a real keeper from Sweden’s greatest electro-punk, disco spewing, dirty mouthed synth quartet.

Watch: In a Band

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