THE WORLD WILL LISTEN
ALBUM SSC, PLAYGROUND RELEASE: MARCH 26, 2001 REVIEW: FEBRUARY 20,
Swedish synthpop band Mobile Homes has always hovered on the fringes of the mainstream, occasionally gaining access. Only to reappear in the subcultural zone after a brief stint. Their videos have been aired on Swedish television and even on MTV, back when that channel still cared for music.
Mobile Homes started out making the kind of moody, passionate synthesizer pop that won Depeche Mode their following. Since then, they have tried different styles like, on the previous album, happy sunshine guitar pop. But none of that ever worked as well as the original concept. Apparently the group realized this, because "The World Will Listen" has made a bigger impression on me than the Karl Bartos produced "Mobile Homes" ever did.
This back to the roots-album neatly avoids the lingering scent of nostalgia, elegantly addressing precisely that subject on the single track "Nostalgia". The Mobile Homes are definitely among the most accomplished performers of classic, electronic melancholy. Excellent melodies and simple but effective production make for a timeless sound.
The quality of the songs varies between very good and uninspired. The best songs, like "Nostalgia" and "The More I Think, the Deeper I Sink" are grouped on the first half of the record, which makes the latter part sound a bit bleak. The faster tracks generally sound less personal, and more like run-of-the-mill body tracks.
The Mobile Homes are best on their saddest days. At their most honest, they elevate their genre (most bands in this scene tend to be regarded as "good for a synth band"). Then they make you forget what instruments are used or which kind of haircut you should wear to their concert.
Pretty darn impressive.