Teddybears have been fiddling around with various genres of music since the early 90s. The Swedish band trafficked in death metal, reggae, pop, and almost everything in between before settling on the sort of dance magic found on their newest album. Devil’s Music is the sixth studio recording for Patrik Arve and brothers Joakim and Klas Åhlund.
What we have on Devil’s Music is a hodgepodge of inoffensive, easy, boring dance pop-rock. There are loads of guest stars and nothing interesting happens, but perhaps these Teddybears aren’t supposed to be stimulating on a deeper level.
The formulaic record essentially drills away with repeated beats and loops. Guest stars chime in and slightly alter the formula, but not enough to provoke anything overly compelling. The beats are solid enough, but Teddybears don’t strive for anything that goes beyond a song you’d hear in a commercial and forget three seconds later.
On the good side of things is “Cardiac Arrest,” a track that features Robyn. The rambunctious and awesome Swedish artist paired with Klas before, as he produced herself-titled 2005 smash. Her charisma is unmistakable, even under gallons of effects. Still, she’s the shit.
Unfortunately, not everyone can work to her level.
“Cho Cha” features what should be a winning combination in Cee-Lo Green and the B-52s, but it just doesn’t work. The song is flat and icky like old Pepsi left in the sun too long, blandly escalating through a chorus that sounds phoned-in.
The Flaming Lips fare slightly better on “Crystal Meth Christian,” a sparkly number of electronica that packs a funny punch thanks to Wayne Coyne. Still, it could be a meatier number both sonically and intellectually. “You think that you’re superior,” Coyne repeats.
Overall, though, Devil’s Music is tedious and lacking in substance or legit funk. “Get Fresh With You” sounds an awful lot like their big hit “Cobrastyle,” while “Wolfman” lacks the fun and spirit necessary to howl at the moon with no pants on.
Strictly for spinning in clubs with overpriced watered-down drinks, Devil’s Music is the sort of vapid, empty sonic lunch that doesn’t gratify. While there are moments of fun and some good beats lying around, the whole picture is far too pedestrian to recommend.
This was originally published as Review: Teddybears – Devil’s Music at the remarkable and sexy Blinded By Sound.