Wednesday, June 30, 2010

On Repeat: ceo - Illuminata

Despite artwork that appears inspired by a Tool fan's back tattoo, Eric Berglund's pet project ceo is it's antithesis. The first thing you will notice on the exuberant Illuminata are the moody atmospherics that quickly recede to make room for bouncy bloops and sunny guitars. ceo is Sweden's answer to Spain's dance quartet Delorean, compressing summery riffs and warm, breezy vocals into refreshing 3-minute packages. The songs are bubbly and bright, the perfect sonic accompaniment to a time-lapse flight clip. The entire album bursts with this buoyant energy, some songs leaning on tribal rhythms and Spanish guitar, others like "No Mercy" sampling ominous sounds like a sword being unsheathed and still sounding unflinchingly happy. There aren't a lot of albums that can maintain such vitality and end up a syrupy, mushy mess. Let me put this in simple summer terms. Albums like this are usually Hoodsie cups. Unsatisfying, uninspired, and unmemorable. ceo is Fla-vor-ice. Fresh, unique and delicious.

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