Regardless, The Sounds’ first album, Living in America, was a boisterous blast of rock ‘n roll, with such catchy tunes as “Seven Days A Week” and “Dance With Me” taking up residencies in many listeners’ ears. But on sophomore effort Dying To Say This To You, The Sounds falter and fall on the dance floor.
Album opener “Song With A Mission” kicks off with an always awesome instrument, the cowbell. A golden garage rock guitar riff soon joins in, and the song sounds like it’s going to be ridiculously fun, and it is. I mean geez, it’s even got two Gospel gals singing backup. That rules. But the lyrics completely drag the song down. They’re not just bad; they’re nonsensical. Frontwoman Maja Ivarsson sings, “This song is not for you, only for people living like we do and not for the true.” Ya kinda lost me at the end there, Ivarsson. What the hell does that even mean?
From then on, disappointment sets in, as most of the tunes that follow “Song With A Mission” sound like Living in America leftovers. “Queen of Apology” and “24 Hours” are okay, but they’re not awesome. The choruses have good hooks, but they can’t save the muddled verses and bridges.
A few tracks show The Sounds attempting to shake up their New Wave formula. “Tony the Beat” has some funky verses, and some nearly rapped lyrics to boot, which is mildly funny coming from a Swedish girl. Hey, Blondie put out “Heart of Glass.” The sexual come-ons of “Tony the Beat” aren’t as awkward or bizarre as Debbie Harry’s rhymes about a man from Mars who eats cars, but they are bad.
There’s also the overwrought ballad “Night After Night” to provide some trite diversity. It’s a cute little love song, but it’s no “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin.
Dying To Say This To You has some moments of rockdom, but not enough to lure any listener in for more than a few spins. The songs here are disposable and unmemorable, which is regrettable given how good Living in America was.