Peter, Bjorn and John—Gimme Some (StarTime)
In some ways it’s unfortunate that Peter, Bjorn and John’s “Young Folks” was so huge. I’m happy they pocketed the cash from it, and it was a damn catchy song, but it threatens to make PB&J into “that band with the whistling song” and as that song become overplayed, which it most certainly has, interest in the band faded. I suffered so much from this that I didn’t realize that the tuneful Swedes have released several albums since then. I just couldn’t be bothered. For some reason, though, I was drawn to their new release, Gimme Some, and I’m glad I was. This is a fun and solid band that is about much more than a single song.
Gimme Some feels somewhat like a lost Elvis Costello album circa This Year’s Model. And that’s a very good thing. This doesn’t make these guys a rip off or anything of the sort. EC himself was plying a traditional pop/rock formula with a few distinctive additions, and PB&J add a few moves of their own. The album standouts, for me, include the islandy “Dig a Little Deeper” (with the almost too clever chorus “All art has been contemporary”), “Eyes” (with the best recent use of a Bo-Diddly beat), and “May Seem Macabre” (which builds up from a Pixies-ish base line). This is the sort of album that makes you want to make a mixtape. The only problem is that you’ll want to include too many of the songs.
Now I have to go back and buy those albums which slipped by during the incessant whistling.