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Album Review
Gimme Some

Gimme Some
by Peter, Bjorn and John

Wichita Recordings

Review Date
3rd May, 2011
Reviewed by
Kris Taylor

I bet you wont find a review about PB&J that doesn't draw a large amount of comparison between pretty much everything they have done to date and their smash hit single 'Young Folks' (which you would have heard played to death in 2006/2007), which hails from their second fully-fledged album Writers Block. And damn it, I can’t help but make a few comparisons too. Writers Block was a fantastic album no denying, having the sweet naïve breeziness and ever so tantalizingly Swedish accented vocals that made it so endearing. The beautifully crafted songs and production came together fully realized and, while overshadowed by the popularity of 'Young Folks', the album (and band) were in no way 'one hit wonders'.

In many ways Gimme Some attempts to pick up where Writers Block left off (avoiding the electro and percussion infused territory of fifth album Living Thing) However, Gimme Some starts on an odd note with 'Tomorrow Has to Wait' which serves as a funny introduction. The recurring lyric of “I don't think you are sorry for what you did” lacks any context, while the melancholic tone lacks any impact as the song to introduce you to the album. The following track ‘Dig a Little Deeper’ would have done much better to fill this slot; its upbeat simplicity, its poppy lyrical nonsense, jangling guitar and "oh oh" backing vocals are certainly endearing and bring to mind summer holidays and sunshine. But it's not until the first single 'Second Chance' at track three that the album starts to reveal its character while other standouts are 'Breaker Breaker', 'Lies' and 'May Seem Macabre'. And I think this is where the album stumbles. While the songs are definitely great at times, they fail to really inspire too often. Where Writers Block felt like a breath of fresh air, at times Gimme Some fails to create any mood or feel, lurching from one track to the next apparently at random. And while there are certainly interesting ideas for the band’s direction (definitely a new, raw, almost punk attitude to some tracks and a more refined pop sensibility in others), this tends to add to an even greater overall lack of cohesion. The songs lack continuity and while holding your attention for a few minutes tend to leave you lost in the narrative gap between songs.

I really would like to love this album, and in many ways I still should. It has some excellent song writing, a few very solid singles, great production and execution. I just can't help but feel there is something missing. Tracks like 'Black Book' and 'Tomorrow has to Wait' could/should be from two separate albums. Don't get me wrong, Gimme Some IS a good album, most of the songs stand up very well, if only on their own, and there are moments of really excellent songwriting craft. But where the album fails is as a cohesive work of any depth. I really wanted to love this album, unfortunately I am just going to have to resolve myself to just 'liking' it.



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