Communion 2CD - Yep Roc

Sweden's power- and psychedelic-popsters The Soundtrack of Our Lives return after a four year absence with an ascendant surprise: Communion, a 24-tune double album that enfolds all that is good about rock. Communion has a conceptual theme: each song focuses on one part of a 24-hour day, with Side One denoted as the daytime undertaking, while Side Two is the nighttime record. But the compositions are independent of each other, and that's what makes Communion a musical banquet worth splurging on. Tracks twist from heavy guitar to layered 1960s trappings, from 1970s new wave to supple pop. The first disc opens with the psych-soaked "Babel On," which sets Communion in motion, followed by the slightly sadomasochistic art-pop piece "Universal Stalker" and an ebullient rendition of Nick Drake's elegant "Fly," the only cover tune. The second disc is a bit more meditative but no less compelling. It is highlighted by cuts such as fuzzy pop-drone gem "Everything Beautiful Must Die," which is pockmarked by bed-sit despondency lyrics, and sing-a-long closer "The Passover," which ends the proceedings on an upbeat tilt. While listening to the 90-or-so minutes of Communion could be an endurance test for some listeners, overall The Soundtrack of Our Lives has hatched an enjoyable experience. (Doug Simpson)



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