MBER 4, 1999

Saft’s acclaimed debut album “Paranoia Erotica” is one of the most impressive Swedish machine pop records ever. Even though their straight-forward pop and Carl Steinmarck’s voice was too much for some people, they won the hearts of the majority of the synthpop audience in Sweden. The have won two Swedish Electronic Music Awards for best song and they were voted number two as best newcomer 1997.  But like other similar bands nowadays, they didn’t break outside those lines even though they got some radio play and press. And the English version of the album didn’t get much attention abroad either.
With their second album “3-2-1” they want to move on and reach a larger audience. They have included conventional instruments and more elements from other areas like techno and house. And I don’t say that it doesn’t sound good. I can understand that they want to do something new and that they want to get the attention from new people. But I think they have crossed the line slightly, by being too mainstream. Some of the material lack that special touch that made songs like “Underbar” fantastic. They are obviously masters of synthpop and I think it would be wise to stick to that area in some way without flirting with the charts.
Still, “3-2-1” is a strong record and the typical Saft sound is present. The catchy single songs “Sitter perfekt” and “Går in som gud” grows over time, especially the latter. “Bly” is a song that caught my attention from the beginning. But I don’t think this album will give Saft the break they long for and deserve. It might even be that they lose some of their synthpop fans and gain few new ones.
But they have only released two albums so far and are obviously capable of so much more.
A really nice thing is the digital info package included on this album, smilar to a website. It offers, among lots of other things, the good looking “Går in som gud”-video.


Hot Stuff Mailorder