Peter, Bjorn, and John – Living Thing (7/10)

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Stockholm’s finest purveyors of self aware indie pop take a no surprises approach to their fourth LP. Like their previous albums, Living Thing offers a grab-bag of ironic-not-ironic hooks and production touches borrowed from the last several decades of pop production, from Phil Spector to Stock Aitken Waterman.

On the best songs, like the title track and Nothing To Worry About (the closest thing here to follow up to 2006’s irresistible whistling hit Young Folks) arrangements are sparse and percussive, allowing the trio’s Scandinavian pop sensibility and knack for vocal hooks to shine. Elsewhere, the band relies too often on inventive arrangements to compensate for lacklustre material, with limited success.

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