Bang Gang - Something Wrong
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Bang Gang
Something Wrong

Bang Gang is the unfortunately-named project of one Icelandic musician Bardi Johannsson. Hailing from a small island country with what seems like an extraordinarily creative and fertile musician base, he creates electronics-touched pop music and has vocal help from a slew of big name singers, including Keren Ann, Daniel Agust (Gus Gus), and Nicolette (Massive Attack). The resulting album is something much more polished and poppy than the work of much of his countrymen, and while it has some standout tracks, it ultimately stumbles a bit due to its more conventional sounds.

First off, the highlights include the excellent "Follow," which builds from a quiet piano and acoustic guitar intro before layering in synths and male/female vocals. It concludes with a coda of deep bass hits, strings, and a girls choir that only puts a punctuation mark on things. Moving in a completely different way is "Find What You Get," which strips away much of the elaborate production in favor of a more brittle UK pop sound that features some great guitars and breathy vocals from Johannsson himself. Likewise, the quiet "Everything's Gone" is only acoustic guitar and harmonized vocals, but packs more of a punch than most of the elaborate songs on the release.

Elsewhere, Something Wrong suffers from some missteps. "In The Morning" finds the aforementioned Agust adding some over-the-top vocals to the blues-infected "In The Morning," while the cover of "Stop In The Name Of Love" is so twee that it makes my teeth hurt. I've got to give Johannsson for showing some restraint on most of his tracks, as his collaboration with Nicolette seems like it's going to swoop wildly at any point but instead just builds to a mild crescendo before melting again. While there's nothing particularly bad about this release from Bang Gang, it also doesn't do a whole lot to distinguish itself. If you like your music closer to the radio-friendly side of things, this might be one to seek out, but most people are going to find it a bit too staid.

rating: 5.7510
Aaron Coleman 2007-08-16 21:14:20