This Perfect Day

Epic Records, 1998


REVIEW BY: George Agnos


When it comes to Swedish pop music, you probably immediately think of ABBA, perhaps Ace of Base or the Cardigans. Those are all sweet sounding bands, to be sure, but they only scratch the surface. This Perfect Day is a male pop-rock band that, in a really perfect day, would be getting a lot more attention. Their latest album, titled C-60, is a place where Beatlesque pop, glam, punk, and new wave rock coexist peacefully.

The first strains of synthesizers start the opening song, "Could Have Been Friends", and then the guitars kick in, and with the hooky chorus, you'll think it's 1983 again. The next song, "Down On My Knees", is more rhythmic and includes a horn part. I could see this being a hit, as it wouldn't sound out of place on an INXS album. But the tacky lyrics to "Dolphins" bring down my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 C-60 a bit, and the next song "Fishtank", though a little better, still has some of the bad taste of the previous song.

However, just when I was about to give up on them, This Perfect Day seemed to catch its second wind and come up with the best songs on the album. The punky "Young And Stupid" not only rocks but offers an incisive lyric about aging. It is not every day that I hear an incisive punk rock song. The slower "Hello" is awesome with its moody guitar playing, and lyrics that include the following great chorus: "Hello, don't you understand?/We're boring as hell/But we can't even tell anymore."

Other standout tracks include "Break My Arm", a catchy pop song with a strange lyric: "Break my arm/shoot me dead/cut off my head/can't do me any harm/just make me feel alive." The rocker, "In Two Weeks You Will Be Forgotten", is a nice sendup on the music business. I wonder if it is intentional that the melody is similar to that old Twisted Sister song "We're Not Going To Take It". Intentional or not, that similarity only helps to make the point the band is trying to make here.

"Dreamers In A Dream" is an appealing pop song that continues to show off This Perfect Day's cynicism. I find it interesting that even their sunniest sounding songs are depressing. Here the singer proclaims that we are just dreamers and we have no future at all. But C-60 ends with the ballad "Bryant Lake Bowler" which is a love song of cautious optimism. It is nice to hear them end the album with a ray of hope.

This Perfect Day definitely shows another side to Swedish pop. They show a lot more depth than the Swedish bands we have heard in the States. Their sound is quite accessible, if not exactly what pop radio is looking for these days. Even though they come off a bit retro at times, they add enough different influences to create a sound that is all their own. This Perfect Day will definitely make your day.

Rating: B+

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© 1999 George Agnos and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Epic Records, and is used for informational purposes only.