The Concretes

The Concretes
(Astralwerks)

Disappointed by the Cardigans' swerve from disco-flecked fizz-pop into touchy-feely roots-rock on their new Long Gone Before Daylight? Don't turn to these fellow Swedes for comfort. This self-titled album, the follow-up to a CD released to the sound of crickets in 2000 by the Seattle indie Up, is a relaxed sigh of drowsy drumbeats, lazy guitar fuzz, birthday-candle string arrangements and the slurred singing of front woman Victoria Bergsman, who I'd have no trouble believing is the long lost Scandinavian sister of Mazzy Star chanteuse Hope Sandoval. Actually, comfort is exactly what the Concretes offer: They pile up melodies and countermelodies like blankets in opener "Say Something New," and slow down "Chico" so much that getting out of bed is hardly required for dancing. Even when they pick up the pace, as in the organ-drenched "You Can't Hurry Love," they don't seem to be in a rush to get anywhere. They'll be right here, 'til daylight and probably later.

 
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