Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Raveonettes: "Observator" (album review)

Over the decade-plus of their existence, The Raveonettes have carved out a pretty distinctive sound for themselves.  You always know what you're getting with the Danish duo.  So does that hold true for their latest record Observator.

Songs like "Observations" and "Till the End" bring you the ear-ringing treble feedback and garage rock that you've grown accustomed to hearing from the band.

A small new wrinkle is added on "Young and Cold".  The echoed vocals and fuzzy guitars gussy up what is essentially a twangy roots songs underneath.

The real innovation here come when the pair strip away the tinny bombast on "The Enemy".  As a result, Sune Rose Wagner's lovely vocals are given a brief moment to shine.  A hushed strum entwines with the vocals on "You Hit Me (I'm Down)".

Several layers of fuzz have been shaved off tracks like "She Owns the Streets" and "Sinking With the Sun", putting a greater emphasis on the melodies and that's a good thing.  Gentle hooks are allowed to develop on "Downtown" without getting quashed under the weight of a messy screeching arrangement.

Before listening to Observator I was all set to declare that all Raveonettes albums sound the same and therefore you only really need to own one.  With the cleaned-up sound on this record I can't say that anymore.  Hopefully this ushers in a new era of sonic exploration for The Raveonettes.  It's their most compelling record in quite some time.

The Raveonettes play The Phoenix in Toronto on October 2nd.

Best tracks: "The Enemy", "You Hit Me (I'm Down)"

Track listing for Observator:
  • Young And Cold
  • Observations
  • Curse The Night
  • The Enemy
  • Sinking With the Sun
  • She Owns the Streets
  • Downtown
  • You Hit Me (I'm Down)
  • Till the End

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