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Writer's Block


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Audio CD, March 6, 2007
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$10.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 11 left in stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This Swedish trio (Peter Moren, Bjorn Yttling and John Eriksson) who mix the sounds of classic '60s Baroque Pop, Power Pop and New Wave, creating and exciting and original sound. Fans of Sahara Hot Nights, The Concretes, Badly Drawn Boy and The Shout-Out-Louds and Swedish Pop music in general should seek this out immediately! 'The songs are Great' New York Times, Young folks is the coolest song ever to appear on Grey's Anatomy' Rolling Stone. US only edition includes a bonus disc of rarities!

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As fine an album as this might be (and indeed it is), it serves a much higher purpose for which it must be immediately recognised. The twee Swedish trio have single-handedly tugged whistling out of popular music's pits where it was stuffed by German soft metal granddads The Scorpions back in the early 90s. It's not even particularly proficient whistling – it's a bit skewiff really, a little out of tune – but it's tacked onto the irresistibly bobbing, Velvet-Underground-via-The-Concretes infectiousness of "Young Folks", augmented by the warm-ember vocals of ex-Concrete Victoria Bergsman herself, and by association sounds fairly heroic. Accidentally anthemic, perhaps, but anthemic nonetheless. Result.

Which sets a tone for the rest of this off-kilter lo-fi record. Draw a slightly wonky line from Simon & Garfunkel through to The Shins, making sure you take in the sharp Scandinavian indie-pop of the '90s (Wannadies, The Cardigans) and modern day peers (Radio Dept, Shout Out Louds) and you have a folk album that isn't really all that folk, swimming through its own dreamy washes of ambition. The drumming on tracks like "Let's Call It Off" and "Paris 2004" is so elementary you might as well add your own, but it keeps the intuitive, simplistic 60's beat melodies trickling steadily onwards. The underlying appeal is that things could snap like an elastic band at any moment, that things are beautifully limited. Less writers block, more loving the detail of your first chapter so much you have no inclination to move on. --James Berry


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Writer's Block0:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Objects Of My Affection 4:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Young Folks 4:39$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Amsterdam 3:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Start To Melt 2:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Up Against The Wall 7:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Paris 2004 3:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Let's Call It Off (Single Version) 3:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. The Chills 3:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Roll The Credits 6:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Poor Cow 4:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Ancient Curse 3:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. All Those Expectations (Weak Remix) 2:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Let's Call It Off (Girl Talk Remix) 3:18$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 6, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Almost Gold
  • ASIN: B000NJL4TY
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,048 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 28, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Swedish pop group Peter Bjorn and John are apparently trying to confuse us, and for a brief time, it works.

Their third album "Writer's Block" has the misfortune to open on a rather saggy note, but fortunately hoists itself up for a blurry blend of indiepop and northern atmospheric synth. So straggle through the first two tracks, because the indiepop that follows is solid, multilayered and quite excellent.

It opens with a faint, atmospheric little track that sounds like Sigur Ros tuning up. Then suddenly it careens into nonstop guitar pop in "Object of My Affection," with drums pounding right over those steely riffs. "And you still can make sense/if you just show up and present an honest face/instead of that grin," Peter Morén sings happily.

Not only is it a lot simpler than the other songs, but I got a headache from those relentless drums and guitar. At that point I was groaning, anticipating a whole album of the same. But I was wrong.

Things start perking up with the shimmying, sunny indiepop of "Young Folks," which has some enchantingly feathery edges and constant whistling. The other songs have a similar mix of shimmery keyboard and solid indiepop -- thumpy little marches, swirling psychedelic hymns, gentle ballads blooming into driving guitarpop, folksy ballads, and the shimmering prettiness of "The Chills."

For your info, there is no Peter Bjorn -- it's actually "Peter, Bjorn and John," three Swedish guys who play the instruments and all provide vocals. And despite a couple of mediocre songs on "Writer's Block," these guys really know how to make great indiepop -- lots of northern wind and snow, and a delightfully sunny 1970s pop mentality.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By somethingexcellent VINE VOICE on November 29, 2006
Format: Audio CD
On their third album, it seems that Peter (Morén), Bjorn (Yttling), and John (Erikkson) have really hit their stride. Writer's Block is an eleven track, forty-five minute gem of an release that mixes styles and dynamics amazingly, shifting between fuzzy shoegazer-style pop (with a 60s style bent), playful male/female sing-alongs, and even some semi lo-fi shufflings that all manage to sound like they belong on the same album. Toss in some very interesting production touches and you've got yourself one of the better pop albums to come out this year.

"Objects of My Affection" follows a short field recording track that opens the release, and kicks things off on a strong foot with guitars that are alternately jangling and full-on hazy guitar sonics. Along with a serviceable rhythm section and some crooning, but slightly nasal vocals, it sounds something like Buddy Holly as re-imagined by Kevin Shields. "Young Folks" was the first single from the album and it's obvious why due to its sheer immediacy. The track starts out sparse, with only a rubbery bass and some crisp drumming backing the vocals of Morén. It slowly morphs, though, as ex-Concretes singer Victoria Bergsman coo's her part, and explodes into something even more vibrant as the two come together for a soaring chorus.

There are plenty of gems on the album, and the release switches up enough to keep things from getting anywhere close to stale. "Amsterdam" is the mid-tempo tumbler that mixes some choppy beats, loopy synths, and the more baritone (and sleepy sounding) vocals of Yttling into another track that invites singing-along.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Peter Shermeta VINE VOICE on March 28, 2007
Format: Audio CD
01. Writer's Block I still do not understand the need for an Intro track. At least this one is short and quiet, unlike many.

02. Objects of My Affection The music on this track has a very righteous, hold-your-head-high feel to it. It is nice when someone comes into our life and makes a positive impact. If you're looking for a song to reflect that, look no further.

03. Young Folks Young Folks is probably the best-known single from the trio. Featuring Victoria Bergsman (until recently of The Concretes), this song is regarded as one of the best of 2006 (Pitchfork #5). The lyrics on most of the album are incredibly charming and profound. This song is an excellent example of that.

04. Amsterdam "Baby went to Amsterdam..." I can't help it; I love this song. It is admittedly not as good as Young Folks, but it is my guilty pleasure track on this cd. For some reason I enjoy the non-challance of the song as it is sung very matter-of-factly.

05. Start to Melt I am not a huge fan of the noisy, screechy feel of this one. It is hard to understand, and not my favorite track, but at least it is short at just over 2 minutes.

06. Up Against the Wall I love the duality of this song. The pleading lyrics against the upbeat percussion gives you two ways to listen to this song. You can opt for the drums and bob your head or for the lyrics, but be careful you might find yourself singing along unexpectedly.

07. Paris 2004 This is a simple little song which chronicles the end of a trip and its immediate aftermath for two lovers. Not a lot happens, but they certainly emphasize the feelings they have for each other. If it were a little less repetitive I would really enjoy this song.

08.
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What does the '(Bril)' mean?
A BrilliantPak is a type of jewel case, but I am not sure what it is or if this is what "Bril" means here! Best guess, though. Also, this is cheap as it's the US domestic version and not the original import.
Feb 8, 2007 by X |  See all 5 posts
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