Not all albums need to be philosophical and soulful, coated with melancholy. I sometimes feel that bands like The Feeling got an overly hard time from UK music critics, for simply making belting good upbeat pop songs. I say all this because Norwegian band Team Me have released their album 'Blind as Night' and its an extravaganza of belting pop tunes - unrelenting, bold and colourful. And its actually pretty fantastic from start to finish.
It’s a release full of high tempo tracks, layer upon layer of sound, guitar, keyboards, strings, percussion and multiple vocals. Its so indisputably upbeat and frenetic that I understand why some people might be unnerved. On first listen I thought at times it sounded like a High School Musical production of an Arcade Fire album. And as appealing as that is, its a lot better than that anyway.
After a mammoth 8 minute opening track ‘Riding my Bicycle - from Feddersensgate 5A to Møllerveien 31’, they launch into 'Kick and Curse', the latest single, and it’s everything a good pop song should be - high tempo, great chorus and questionably corny lyrics - ' knock me to my knees i'm on the floor, with a pack of wolves outside my door'. I love the string section that’s been thrown in for good measure, and its eminently radio playlist friendly.
Man-eating Machine' opens with the sumptuous strings, but does if truth be told, feel a bit all over the place, before the excellent single 'F is for Faker', complete with join in rhythmic handclapping and a sing along chorus. Whilst many albums fade, in ‘Blind as Night’ the big songs keep coming -‘Did we lose something here’ is a stomping anthem, and after a brief respite with a nice little song called ‘Steven’, they finish with ‘The All Time High’ and ‘Blind as Night’, 2 huge thumping tracks which appear to leave nothing unused in the studio.
It probably goes without saying that Team Me won’t be for everyone, but 'Blind as Night' is a contagious delight, packed full of good songs, great tunes, and an exhilarating sound. Whilst most albums normally have 2-3 tracks of 'single' material, this has at least 6. It should have widespread appeal, and i'm completely bought into what they’ve done. Go listen for yourself…
Nordic Music Review 8/10
('Blind as Night' was released on Monday 25th January on Propeller Recordings and have 2 UK gigs in Manchester and London on the 18th and 19th February.)