The Embassy- Sweet Sensation

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Wednesday, March 13, 2013

While they haven’t achieved quite as much mainstream success as some of the bands that followed, Sweden’s The Embassy has still managed to generate a sizeable following since they started putting out electro pop back in 2001. The band’s albums have been fairly spread out, as this year’s Sweet Sensation is only their third full length and comes nearly eight years after Tacking (although there have been singles and a compilation album released in the interim). Sweet Sensation still follows a familiar path and while it does stumble slightly towards the end there are still more than enough hooks to keep listeners interested.

The group starts off their latest with some of their strongest hooks, and while the overall sound may not seem that different from what they have done before there is more space between the instrumentals this time around and it is easier to make out the individual elements. This allows the guitar and electronic work to work independently from each other while still contributing to the overall soundscape and it helps to give the individual tracks more of an identity. Sweet Sensation continues The Embassy’s bright and cheery sound that occasionally has a bit of a tropical feel to it, which should make the album a great companion to the upcoming warm weather that is on its way here in the U.S. However, while the songs made a strong impression early on by the time the album comes to a close the hooks didn’t grab me quite as much. In particular, I felt like the last three tracks were a bit too subdued and didn’t have the same hooks that the rest of the album did. These numbers aren’t bad by any means (although the one minute interlude “U” seemed like unnecessary filler) but I found myself returning to the earlier songs a lot more.

Fredrik Lindson has a very light and airy voice that soars over top of the instrumentals throughout Sweet Sensation. While other Swedish bands of this type that I have listened to in recent years have a tendency to drench their vocals in reverb and let them blur in with the rest of the sounds, The Embassy takes a much more direct approach and allows Lindson to remain in the spotlight for much of the album. This approach was definitely a good one, as the vocals remained consistently engaging on each track and the mellower range worked perfectly with the laid back instrumentals. Overall, the vocal performances remain one element of this group’s material that makes them relaxing to listen to and this should help their material continue to have broad appeal.

Sweet Sensation may have lost some of its extremely strong melodic hooks by the end, but the strength of the overall release more than makes up for it. The Embassy has put a bit more space between their electronic and acoustic elements and while it doesn’t deviate from their established sound that much it has provided a more polished feel than before. While it remains to be seen how fans will rank this album compared to the first two efforts, it is a sign that this band continues to put together catchy arrangements and making subtle tweaks to their style.

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