It's been been eight years since Daybehavior gave us an album. Eight long years for Messrs. Arell & Hammar to forget precisely what made Daybehavior a great flaring beacon of cool in 1996. Eight years for singstress Crescentini to abandon her alluring Italian lyrics in favour of bad, faux poetic English almost entirely (only one song in Italian left on this album). Almost a decade for Daybehavior to dilute the spirit of one of Sweden’s sassiest bands of the nineties.
Am I bitter? Hell yes! Where is the relaxed groove, what happened to the cosmopolitan attitude, the smoothly evolving, pleasantly changing tapestries of sound? All I can hear here is an infuriating eurobeat and several songs reminiscent of those atrocious Italian/Spanish/German one hit disco wonders you have to endure every summer. ”Give me love, one more time, I’ll be yours if you’ll be mine” Paulinda Crescentini sings on the very first track as my jaw drops to the floor in horrified shock. The lyrics of previous album ”Adored” may not have been great poetry, but namedropping perfume and clothing brands in love songs in 1996 was a lot more stylish than featuring lame social critique on reality shows in 2004. I am grasping for explanations here. Was the original band replaced by aliens? Did somebody mix Saint Etienne with Whigfield and Pandora in a blender and put it in the studio coffee machine?
I suppose I am being unfair here. If Daybehavior hadn’t released such a wonderful album way back I would surely write something about their catchy, if bland simplistic synth disco sound with great hit potential. This is all true, but ”Have You Ever Touched a Dream?” is directed against an entirely different listener than ”Adored”, one less demanding and adventurous. The songs stick like superglue, but the effect is rather unpleasant.
Maybe Tommy Arell's departure from the group and Sweden for Thailand (though he is still credited as songwriter on the album together with Carl Hammar) has something to do with the drastic change of style, or maybe the band just got more into trance. Whatever the case, not a single song manages to reach former heights, though many attempts are made to rewrite ”Movie” (note the numerous ”la la la” choruses). The best songs are of the slow variety, such as ”I’ve Never Died Before”, whereas the fast numbers suffer from inorganic coldness, if you’ll allow me to express such an old-fashioned sentiment.
Oh, and by the way Paulinda sings wonderfully. I firmly believe - and can sometimes hear it in the best songs - that potential is still lurking behind the bleak facade. But Daybehavior have crossed the line between class and kitsch and ended up on the wrong side of the tracks.