» LATEST FEATURES

LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
AK-Momo
Return to N.Y.
A Hidden Agenda Records

Rating: 6/10 ?


March 31, 2005
It is very peaceful and soothing, very Joanna Newsom-like, this debut album by the Swedish duo AK-Momo. It has everything it takes to be subjected to mad reviews, praising the gentle voice coming from the far-north part of Europe. Return to N.Y. is charming enough to please the chronically-ill young heart, grabbing a certain pop generational branch with ululating dynamics and slightly-electronic undertones - but with all that, it lacks courage to move forward, to travel from one station to another.

When I first audio-spotted "Greasy Spoon" and the title track - even prior to the record being delivered in my mailbox - I recall thinking this would be a demanding (meaning pleasant) listen. The comparisons with Goldfrapp circa Felt Mountain and Newsom's vocals are almost inevitable, but I truly dismiss the presumption of this duo being matched up to Portishead as the press release suggests. Apart from the fact that the voice is wrapped in domestic electronics in both cases, and that they are two beautiful women, I see no association coming between Anna Karin von Malmborg and Beth Gibbons.

Recorded at Mattias Olsson (the other half of the duo)'s Roth Handle studio in Stockholm, Return to N.Y. encrusts soft singing pitches into a very devotional and evocative electronic tapestry. It has what most records starve for: an aura of convolution delivered in tiny little air gulfs, augmented by the mellotron and the optigan - which are both part of the vintage legacy of homemade, or otherwise, electronics - consistently dotting the tuneful path.

"Human Clones" is admittedly the most rhythm-infused number here - a calculated mishmash cutting through unyielding and almost glitchy criteria. For a project that cuts their teeth on pop electronics this is really audacious. Maybe they should craft from that mould in a future release. Elsewhere, except for a handful of songs, which in fact makes half the album, the overall grooveless ambience belies the density they are trying to convey.

The 6 out of 10 ranking is up there because I know for a fact that this record will go hand in glove with most critics' oracles and I do not want to scare people away… but especially because I have a fascination for Scandinavian countries. Besides, "World Traveller" is such a nice track with its name-dropping of geographical mind spots. Again, Return to N.Y. may please the good souls navigating over the planet, but it makes the chronically inpatient's blood boil of tiredness after the third track. While it is not my preferred cup of tea, others may find its taste quite satisfying.

Reviewed by Helder Gomes
Currently living on the south bank of the Tagus river, in Portugal, Helder Gomes is a working class hero. He is a journalist for the local radio station Rádio Nova Anten. In his spare time, he skates and watches many odd movies. He is in love with the French nouvelle vague, and the Danish/Swedish invasion. He writes for a number of publications, on the Internet or otherwise, notably the underground Portuguese magazine Mondo Bizarre, and the Jazz Review website. He is also the news collector and a staff witer for the adorable Lost at Sea. Oh, and there is also the Coffee Breakz radio show that he tries to host every Saturday.

See other reviews by Helder Gomes

» MEDIA DOWNLOADS

» GOT STICKERS?

If you'd like to help spread the word about LAS, or simply want to outfit yourself with some adhesive coolness, our 4" circle LAS stickers are sure to hit the spot, and here is how to get them:

--> Send an with $2 in PayPal funds to cover postage. Don't worry, we'll load you up with enough to cover your town. Then just be patient. They will arrive soon.

» WORLDWIDE DOMINATION

LAS has staff and freelance writers spread across North and South America, Europe, and a few in Southeast Asia as well. As such, we have no central mailing adress for unsolicited promotional material. If you are interested in having your project considered for coverage, please contact us before sending any promotional materials - save yourself time and postage!