VEGA - Sole Love

Vega - Sole Love

10 songs
40:36 minutes
***** ****
West Side Fabrication / Decoder


Do you like love songs? If yes, Vega's second album Sole Love should be absolutely right for you! Maybe there are too many pheromones in Sweden's air, or maybe it's just that perfect social system, but I have never encountered a band that put so much love in forty minutes of music. And I don't even like love songs. But Vega did it for me anyway.

Founded in the late Nineties, these Swedes decided to get The Tiny's Ellekari Larsson to share the vocals with founding member Nils-Erik Sandberg on Sole Love. Although Sandberg still does most of the vocals, it's the album's duets that win me over instantly. After a short and weird (but interesting) intro, the first single cut Shake Up Your Soul shows the band from an unusually upbeat side. Swinging Sixties meet flawless Abba pop with this innocent Cardigans attitude, and you know that life is still alright in Sweden. The following psycho ballad The Love Song Of Harold & Marion is one of the creepiest duets I have ever heard, a crazy dirge-like ballad where especially Ellekari wails her love out of her heart. Not necessarily beautiful, but so unlike anything I have ever heard, that calling it spine chilling would be an understatement.

So these are already the album's best songs, showing a band from two different sides, yet what follows is still premiere league chamber pop that every fan of Tindersticks and Divine Comedy have to have. Instead of relying on conventional rock instrumentation, you will hear a double bass and a grand piano instead of bass guitar and keyboards, and the lush string arrangements and saxophone parts do their best to keep the rock out of this near perfect pop album, veering towards but always steering clear of the cheesy. Absolutely not for rock'n'rollers, but a must-have for those who crave those rare yet tears inducing chamber pop albums where every single track is a love song.

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