Great bands such as ABBA, Ace of Base and The Hives have all come from Sweden. Now Sweden brings three men dressed like teddy bears into the music scene. This is not only an interesting sight, but also makes for interesting music.
The Teddybears were previously known as Teddybears STHLM and released their first album in 1993. They have since come a long way and launched their sixth album titled Devil’s Music. This new album is turning heads with featured names such as The Flaming Lips, Cee-Lo, Eve and Robyn.
The Teddybears are an electronic group known for their vocal distortions and instrumentation. However, they are not afraid to cross over into other genres and produce a variety of sounds. The album’s fan favorite track, “Cardiac Arrest,” features Robyn and has more of a pop twang to it. It is an upbeat, lighthearted jam that adds a techno vibe once the keyboard comes into play.
Though “Cardiac Arrest” might be getting the most attention, it is not the best song on the album. That honor belongs to “Cho Cha,” featuring Cee-Lo, which sounds like an electronic song from the ’60s. Cee-Lo’s unique hip-hop sound seems like a poor match for the Teddybears at first, but he’s able to mix his smooth vocals perfectly with the electronic jingle to produce a unique sound that is also fun to listen to.
Not all songs are as enjoyable. The album as a whole is inconsistent. Each track is different enough to have its own genre, which makes each song a hit or miss. Unfortunately, “Wolfman” is a big miss. It is one of the last tracks on the album, and, far from ending the album with a bang, the track falls well short of the ones that preceded it. The vocal distortions are over the top, and the instrumentation is rather bland.
“Glow in the Dark” is another flop on the album. The whole song sounds like an introduction and leaves the listener waiting for something that never comes. It has no vocals and feels empty.
Overall, Devil’s Music is a bit of a let down after the Teddybears 2006 album release of Soft Machine. The Teddybears were able to hold their own in Soft Machine, but end up getting outshined by their featured artists in Devil’s Music. The best songs on Devil’s Music are songs with the big name features like Cee-Lo and Eve. Without these big names, the album would have been a complete failure.
Even though the Teddybears have released six albums, they still have plenty of room to grow. Having so many different sounds on this album makes it look like they are still experimenting to find their own style, which is surprising for an older band.
People who like electronic music will no doubt like the Teddybears’ Devil’s Music. Even people who don’t may end up finding something they enjoy. And, at the very least, everyone will probably love the teddy bear costumes.
2.5 stars out of 5