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Urban Cone – Polaroid Memories | Album Review

Urban Cone aim for greatness with their second album Polaroid Memories, but offer little invention.

Source: Album artwork

This Swedish indie-pop quartet aim for the mainstream with their sophomore album Polaroid Memories – with a little help from fellow countryman Tove Lov. Urban Cone have been spending quite sometime in the states and it seems that the electro-pop boys are hoping to spread their wings and stretch themselves away from their Stockholm base. Teaming up with big time DJ’s like John Dahlback and Dirty South has raised their fan base considerably and with a boy band-like topless album cover, Polaroid Memories is surely meant for great times.

The band have spoken out that they nearly broke up during the creation of this record due to the pressure of making an album better than their debut, which would leave one to expect quite a heart breaking, dark sounding record. But on the contrary, this is about as depressing as a S Club Jr’s album. There is so much joy riding across the tracks of Polaroid Memories that psychiatrist’s could prescribe it as an alternative to Prozac. If only the banal Passion Pit copycat tracks didn’t send the patient into a downward spiral of depression as Urban Cone have literally nothing to say. The lyrics make One Direction seem like The National.”I see the colours that I wanted painted. Can you feel it, I can feel it. I see the posters that I once stood for. Can you feel it, I can feel it. Do your remember we used to build castles” are just some of the meaningless opening lines of previous single ‘Weekend‘. Whilst on ‘New York’ they sing how the people make them shy because all these streets make them high in New, New York City. Insightful stuff. It could be deemed cruel to mock a band whose first language isn’t English, but when Kent, Abba and nameless other Swedish acts can write far more poignant lyrics there really is no excuse for such tedious lazy rhyming which spoils the majority of the record.

They can surely write quite a few catchy melodies and the finer moments are when they stick to the instruments and leave the vocals to a minimum like on the funky ‘Sadness Disease‘. The Tove Lov collaboration ‘Come Back To me’ is another highlight, partly due her voice allowing a break from the bog standard indie-pop that haunts the record.

It’s rare to find an album that has tried so hard to copy its contemporaries in a hope to jump on their coat tails to success. But Polaroid Memories has taken so much from acts like The 1975, Passion Pit and Bastille that it becomes a pointless listen; unless The 1975 were a bit too edgy for you.

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