‘iii’ By Miike Snow Album Review: A More Mature Side
Swedish songwriters Christian Karlsson, Pontus Winnberg and American vocalist Andrew Wyatt, who make up the trio known to us from the past years as Miike Snow have been more than prolific with their production collaborations across the board over the past year with the likes of Flume, Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. And yet they have found the time to record and deliver an album that has been in the making for the past three years. iii is an excellent electro-pop album with catchy hooks and addictive, feel-good songs about love and jealousy.
‘iii’ by Miike Snow Album Review
Miike Snow has been a name familiar to EDM and alternative music enthusiasts over the past years. As early as the band’s self-titled 2009 album they stood out with their crafty hooks and steady beats. The 2012 record Happy to You was similarly founded upon synths and electronica — a quality that places them in line with other alternative names like OK Go, MGMT and Passion Pit. But with their third studio album, respectively titled iii, Miike Snow take a turn towards the more commercial scene. Their music remains largely electronic and their beats and hooks are just as appealing, but their soulful, hip-hop infused electro-pop now rises to the next level and has the potential to place the trio among the bigger names in the EDM genre and music in general.
Openers “My Trigger” and “The Heart of Me” are upbeat and stylized pop tracks. They set the tone for a lot of the rest of the album. Miike Snow’s lyrics with notable exceptions don’t really stand out with incredible originality, but this is slightly remedied by the memorable, easy-going melodies and chants. This is not quite the case with the third track on iii – the catchy stalkerish anthem about jealousy and obsession titled “Genghis Khan.” The music video, released along with the single last December, portrays a sky movie’s lovelorn villain struggling to reconcile his feelings for the James Bond-like character with his evil nature. The video is slightly absurd and downright funny and so are the lyrics: “I get a little bit Genghis Khan / Don’t want you to get it on / With nobody else but me.” In juxtaposing the lover’s obsession with one of the most ferocious conquerors in history, Miike Snow are never quite too self-important or serious. This light tone is what works best in this track as well as the album as a whole.
“Heart is Full” is the bombastic continuation of the strong notes set up by the first three songs, but it also somewhat of a shift to deeper, sultrier beats and swankier harmonies. The track samples the vocals of jazz singer Marlena Shaw, which is layered under Wyatt’s recognizable vocals. The digital album also features a remix featuring Run the Jewels who infuse the track with energizing hip-hop verses that like any outstanding pop/rap collaboration bring a completely new and fresh feel to the song.
Charli XCX makes a notable appearance on the chaotic “For U,” after which the record sinks into a more downtempo groove for the rest of the album. “I Feel the Weight,” “Back of the Car” and “Longshot (7 Nights)” show a new kind of intimacy and maturity on behalf of the band. Shifting to a slicker, more stylized tonality Miike Snow demonstrate a musical ingenuity that is at its peak on an easily overlooked track “Over and Over,” which is striking with its industrial-like vocals, a contrastingly harmonious chorus and grazing electric guitars.
The trio’s most incredible feat is their incredible chemistry which shows through in every track on iii. Miike Snow rely on their ever developing imagination, which here takes a sophisticated turn towards a more measured and mature sound that is just as exciting and appealing.
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