I don't know if I am just gullible or especially receptive to the lanky Swede's sparse, but overwhelmingly frail textures. His vocals, strong and powerful as they are, radiate gloom and pain luring me near tears. A significant strength is the vocal harmonies, be it backing his own vocals or employing what seems to be long time companion from The Northern Territories, Stefan Sääf, and his whirling falsetto. Piano, restrained acoustics and soothing electronic choirs make out the musical backdrop to this highly emotional voyage.
Worth mentioning is Ericson's surprising, yet successful cover of Kraftwerk staple "Radioactivity". Maintaining the original's held-back aura, the difference in instrumentation here gives it a freshly unexpected take. Not to mention John's memorable singing performance.
"Black Clockworks" will no doubt work for everyone. The most purist club kids will find it priceless as a sleeping pill while the rest of us can lose ourselves completely in the darkly fragile ambience of one of Sweden's most underrated song writers.