On the verge of yet-another much anticipated North American tour, The Raveonettes release their sixth studio album, Observator.
Recorded in California with long-time producer and mentor Richard Gottehrer, the album is available worldwide this month.
Nine tracks in all, the record proves once again how this band continues to evolve creatively. Universal themes of the brokenhearted share space with tales of determined human spirit.
"Young and Cold" finds the
Wagner and Foo harmonies
stronger than ever, and most prominently featured here. Sune's buzzing,
electric guitar fleshes out the acoustic strums of a western motif, while
Sharin sings out more forcefully than the in-tandem-with-Sune style of earlier
recordings. Previous unheard elements like stark piano melodies briefly emerge
and are then reprised on an unanticipated ambient coda.
"Observations" takes the piano foundation even further, with its back-of-the-concert-hall ambient block chord progression. The vocals are clearly in Sune’s court here, giving the track a more personal, almost solo feel. That unmistakable
guitar is most assuredly present, however, delivering multiple melody lines
from this prolific composer. “To live like common people, I never think I’ll
do” is the expressed sentiment. “This woman says I’m torn between two lives” is
“Curse The Night” emerges via a shuffling, easy going (yet artificial, electronic) percussion track – the kind
is so fond of. A curiously
muted lead vocal surprises, but is wisely juxtaposed against the now familiar
(and most comforting) Sune & Sharin tandem harmonies. Mr.
“The Enemy” thankfully, is more fully realized, with a brilliant lead vocal performance from Sharin. “You are always there to remind me, I’m the enemy” underscores
Wagner’s keen ability to combine heart-tugging lyrics with
even more heart-melting melodies. A song that anyone who has ever felt wronged
or misunderstood can rally around.
“Sinking With The Sun” explodes right out of the box with full band instrumentation and a driving melodic guitar hook. Tandem vocals are again the featured play. Ambient interludes merely underscores
endless ability to create one great melody on top of another – only to have
that burst into the actual title hook. Cascading vocals combined with brightly
descending guitar figures completes this masterfully executed pop song.
First single “She Owns The Streets” has already generated significant excitement both due to the appealing subject matter and truly inspired sound design. Telling the story of a gifted but misunderstood
dancer, Wagner informs all that “I want to be the
one that keeps it alive.” The beautiful sonic hook of “she’s dancing in the
street” takes your senses somewhere between the clouds and heaven itself.
Sharin Foo’s vocals are positioned with such masterful precision, that it’s
hard to imagine anything more perfect.
"Downtown" is bouncy pop extolling the excitement of pleasure seeking, and how "all the boys are going, down-town." Once again, Sharin Foo's voice is impeccably placed on the high harmony, emphasizing the word "downnnnntown."
"You Hit Me (I'm Down)" includes all of the musical elements featured in the seven songs that have come before. That being stark, ambient keyboard chimes, acoustic guitar chord progression, blended harmony vocals, powerful buzzing electric guitar and distant single note melody lines. Add to that a huge, instantly singable chorus, twangy guitar solo and enough ambience and atmospherics to last for days.
The appropriately titled album closer "Till The End" presents the delicate balance of simply living in the present. A central lyrical theme expresses the desire for one to "calm down - be still - we'll walk up the ocean until the end." Furthermore, when
sings "for a moment I
belong to you," he touches upon a universal theme of connecting deeply
with someone - even if that experience may only be short lived. Mr.
The Raveonettes begin their tour in
Portland, Or on September
21st and play 's
New York on October 5th. Webster Hall
Full tour dates can be found at: