Wednesday, February 15, 2017

TOGETHER-A Day Like This (1997)

ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: February 15, 2017

There was the fake parody of a boyband called 2GE+HER (I loved their music nonetheless!), and then there was this obscure (there's that mystery word again) Swedish trio that was a real boyband called TOGETHER; they even spelled their name the correct way without the '2' and the plus sign. I'd discovered them about a year or so ago while casually browsing the music databases for new additions to my 90's Europop collection; somehow, I knew that they and their debut album of English recordings entitled "A Day Like This" were a must-have! Perhaps their simplistic spelling of their name served as an early indicator of their simplistically poetic yet intimate lyrical style that I would gather first on the sunny, guitar-driven opening tune, "Be With You", then take notice of on every song thereafter. As I often say, the simplest and sweetest love songs are often the most fun and, ultimately, emerge as the best of the bunch. The simplest one of them all is the 2+ minute perky number, "Crazy Little Thing", which charms because of the slight BEACH BOYS/BEATLES punk psychedelia thing it's got going on and its very catchy, sing-along chorus. It's that same peppy, BEATLES-era pop/rock spirit I felt again later on the delightful listen that is "Common Old Dream", which is about a girl who wants to escape into a distorted reality that she wishes would last forever. A flash-forward to the 90's house era with the lively galloping rhythm of "Can't Get Over You" where, again, the simple-and-to-the-point lyrics—here, the repetitious delivery of the title track serving as the main chorus—are enough to please the ears. That same approach is presented further on one of this album's coolest tracks: "Naturally Beautiful". You can tell that this one's building up to something good with the electronic drum n' bass rhythm in the beginning movement, followed by the eerie, unsettling arrangement of the chords before the guys break through the haunting ambiance with their chanting of 'how can she be so beautiful?'. There's something distinctively Swedish in their pronunciation of 'naturally'..... "She's A Wild Girl" is a second cool track because the chorus is a lot of fun&mdash'oooh, she's a wild, wild girl' —and so is that brief 'oh-oh' chimed at the end of every pass, plus the quirky stab at rap midway through. Then from a musical point of view, it shines with its breezy sunniness, accented by the airy ambiance whistling in the background and the subtle reggae rhythm. And here's my pick for the coolest one of them all: "Happy Girl". I instantly got that 'uh-oh, it's-time-to-jam!' feeling the moment the reggae-inspired Europop beat jump started things here. Add to that the merry melody of the chords and hearing the guys' merry sing-along of a chorus—'happy happy girl, with a happy happy smile'—and you;ll see why this one makes me so happy listening to it! In fact, the lead guy himself even breaks off with his solo delivery of 'I feel so happy' during the beat drop break. Just a happy, happy song all around! And just when I thought I couldn't be happier, there's a beautifully lush selection of heartwarming soft rock radio perfect slow gems that fill me up just as much as—if not more than—"Happy Girl". There's the song whose title shares its name with this Swedish trio, which talks about the prospect of taking shelter and ending up united for all time; "While You Were Sleeping", where he gently tells about the things he dreams of as he watches her lying calm and still; "Wonderland", which could be seen as a fulfillment of those dreams, as he sings about the paradise he's inviting her to; and "Oh My God" (the title had gotten my attention; instead of the something amazingly unbelievably bad that it could've suggested, it turns out instead that he's astounded by her amazingly unbelievable beauty). Even the Swedish language track entitled "Vänner" is a nice listen, appropriately concluding this latest chapter in my Swedish Europop adventure:

1. Be With You
2. She's A Wild Girl
3. Crazy Little Thing
4. Together
5. Happy Girl
6. Can't Get Over You
7. While You're Sleeping
8. Anyhow
9. Naturally Beautiful
10. Wonderland
11. Common Old Dream
12. Oh My God
13. Be With You [Live] [Acoustic Version]
14. Vänner

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