Veterans of indie-pop, Peter Bjorn and John, certainly live up to the supreme standards of Swedish music. The mighty Scandinavians claim the home of renowned artists throughout the ages, from the triumphs of ABBA and Roxette, to the more recent breakthrough of Swedish House Mafia and Icona Pop.
Although half a decade since their last release, Peter Bjorn and John’s latest album Breakin’ Point reminds us not only of the music genius Sweden produces, but also why this particular trio has not, and certainly will not, be forgotten in pop and rock history.
‘Breakin’ Point’ is 12 tracks of nostalgia; a flashback to the 2000s, and the music we all were addicted to. The background work to this album is truly incredible, boasting exciting collaborations with Paul Epworth (Adele, Florence and the Machine), Emile Haynie (Kanye West, Lana del Ray) and Greg Kurstin (The Shins) – all being Grammy nominated, or winning, producers. Meanwhile, the faces of the band, Peter Morén, Bjôrn Yttling and John Eriksson, give ‘Breakin’ Point’ its unforgettable playfulness and addictive sensations.
The album bursts open with “Dominos” – an eclectic mix of marching piano, electronica that gradually seeps in and lyrics that bury themselves in your brain. A broad range of instruments and sounds appear throughout the 12 tracks, in addition to varying vocals; whilst “Love Is What You Want” experiments with staccato synths and changing pitches, “In This Town” bears raw sound and a more relaxed tone. Although most tracks are rich in vocals, others, such as the track “Breakin’ Point”, allow instrumental flares to shine through. The album ends powerfully and confidently, with an air of feel-good acoustic and sing-along lyrics in “Pretty Dumb Pretty Lame”- an exciting outlook to the future of the band.
What makes this album so compelling, however, are the lyrics. No song runs dry on boring and meaningless strings of words, but rather, streams of memorable and momentous stories and vocal twists. Whilst a few songs might be repetitive in areas, this is somewhat typical for classic songs of the 2000s, and only makes Breakin’ Point an even more loveable album. Indeed, songs do not verge too close to becoming ballads, but rather, stories with a punchy meaning. Words are carefully chosen and effectively repeated, with slight references, such as “Eleanor Rigby” in ‘Do Si Do’, slipping in here and there.
Peter Bjorn and John have once again enchanted listeners worldwide; over fifteen years on, the trio are still unstoppable with their ever-popular music. Breakin’ Point can be best described as ‘social’; an album that should be shared amongst friends, laughed to and sung along to with relentless enthusiasm. Needless to say, whatever Peter Bjorn and John come up with next shall be beyond glorious.