The Asteroids Galaxy Tour were on TV today. It turns out their song ‘Golden Age’ is on the new Heineken advert. It made me look up because, as good as this song is (and as advert-friendly as it is), I’ve never heard it on the telly before. It’s not just that song that’s good though. Their debut album Fruit that came out in September 2009 is something of a favourite.
It kicks off with the funky ‘Lady Jesus’ which has got great-sounding drums, interesting synths and Mette Lindberg’s immediately recognisable vocals. It’s a punchy song to kick off the album and it’s followed by ‘The Sun Ain’t Shinin’ No More’, which is apparently the theme song for some Canadian TV show. The drums on this track are very The Roots (think ‘The Seed 2.0’) and it’s a funky, dancy summer song in a bottle. These two songs really set the tone for the album as a poppy, shimmery and sunny collection of ten songs. If I’m honest, my biggest gripe with it is simply that it should be longer.
They manage to mix the upbeat Stax and Motown sound with some songs that verge on the chillout electronica of AIR and Groove Armada. Songs like ‘Crazy’ and ‘Satellite’ are hugely laid back and have enough analogue reverb and horns to make any 60’s loving producer jealous. And yes, Mr Ronson, I’m talking to you. ‘The Golden Age’ comes pretty much bang in the middle of the album and it’s not so much the standout song as a great midway point. Straight afterwards we get ‘Around The Bend’; with its outrageously catchy brass and Mette’s vocals it is a perfect house party song. The kind of house party where the band are there playing live, obviously.
The album finishes on a more chilled out note, with the final two songs winding things down. I’m a particular fan of the compression on the vocals on ‘Bad Fever’. It gives the songs a vintage feel that fits perfectly with the previous nine songs.
Fruit is a superbly produced pop record. From start to finish Mette and co-writer Lars Iversen weave together the shiny pop of a contemporary act with a vintage, almost hippy sound that harks right back to the 60’s. At times soul, at times funk and at times psychedelic, Fruit is simply great. Criticisms could be that it’s a little contrived and overly trendy but ultimately the album is good enough that and sense of ‘cashing in’ by the band falls by the wayside.
File next to: Nina Persson, Those Dancing Days, Gnarls Barkley & Zero 7
Listen to: Well, there’s already one up top, but here’s another