The Sweet Serenades: Help Me!
Swedish born band, The Sweet Serenades, are incredibly up front with what they want to be: an incredibly fun, cool, and energetic band that delivers an experience it’s audience can actually enjoy. And by enjoy I mean to listen to, to dance to, and to have fun with. It’s been about three years since their first album was released, and now comes Help Me! Earlier in the year, The Sweet Serenades released a single off their new album, “Can’t Get Enough.” Without a doubt it was great and built some heavy momentum for the band to work with as they release Help Me! So the question at hand is whether the entire album holds up in comparison to it’s star.
The album starts with the like-named track “Help Me!.” The listener is automatically given a primer in what’s to be expected from The Sweet Serenades. A cheerful burst of energy surges through your stereo with each and every clap; the guitar, the drums, and the singing guide you into the album. You know from the start what you’re in for and it’s great. Help Me! is simple, there’s really nothing crazy to expect. You’re not getting some insane guitar solos or an avant-garde experience to be expected from a bunch of overly inspired guys on synthesizers and instruments you have never even heard of. It’s a break from the constant attempt by bands to be original today and instead actually produce something just plain awesome. This does however bring back the question of whether or not the entire album contends with it’s fifth track, “Can’t Get Enough.”
If you’re not familiar, “Can’t Get Enough” is this wild, comical beast of a song. It’s so incredibly basic that if any other band played it I’m not sure anyone could get behind it. However, The Sweet Serenades knows how to deliver it just right with the occasional dash of a deep voice proclaiming, “I can’t get enough,” and the (what I assume to be) Swedish accent; it all really becomes a loveable goof of a song. The next track, “Terminal 2” is appealing for almost similar reasons. It has an almost silly and celebratory feel to it. The eighth song, “Bright Lights, Big City,” is just plain great; it has velocity and it keeps this trademark amusing musical behavior. So while “Can’t Get Enough” became a bit of a poster child for Help Me! it is clear: other songs do prevail to be just as good if not better.
If there’s a trending message here it’s that The Sweet Serenades are wild, goofy, and fun. That’s completely fair for a band to be, however often times the lyrics and certain sections of songs just feel moody. It’s hard to tell whether the band wants to pound good vibes into your skull or tell you about some fragilities of the human heart. There’s difficulty in fully appreciating a song when you’re catching mixed signals, and considering how often The Sweet Serenades send out these mixed signals, it’s hard to tell what they’re trying to leave you with. It often undermines certain songs, and that’s a shame considering how great they could be otherwise.
The Sweet Serenades are daring, bold, and witty; and because of this, it’s hard to imagine any other band could produce something so basic, clean cut, and yet…absolutely radical. The Sweet Serenades know how to get a person moving, even if it’s just a head bob. It’s a gift to any musician or band who can do as such and because of all of this, because The Sweet Serenades are so gifted, and have dared to apply themselves, Help Me! is one of the best albums to end the year with.
MP3: The Sweet Serenades “Bright Lights, Big City”