The Sounds - Living In America (Cover Artwork)

The Sounds

Living In America (2003)

New Line

Why couldn't it have stopped with The Hives? After those Swedes made it big here in America, I recall a couple other no-name, generic bands attempting to grab an American following, and The Sounds are doing the same.

The Sounds attempt to mix a 1980s punk/new wave/pop flavor with today's rock, complete with synthesizers, keyboards and a female vocalist named Maja Ivarsson. So basically, they want to be the new Blondie.

Though it's obvious these guys have potential, this particular album just didn't work for me. Rarely do Jesper Anderberg's keyboards comfortably gel with the guitars (an exception comes in the form of "Mine for Life"), and Ivarsson is either average or just awful when it comes to the singing (the beginning of "Reggie" will make your toes curl). The biggest disappointment comes from the lyrics. They are painfully cheesy, and basically follow the old "sex, drugs, and rock ‘n' roll" cliché.

At the same time, though, The Sounds sometimes give a few catchy, fun songs, like the opening anthem, "Seven Days a Week," "Living in America," the retro "Hit Me!", "Rock'n Roll," (yes, that's one of the titles) and "Like a Lady." But the dull subject matter and the overall shallow guitars and keyboards keep the album from really taking off.

So it isn't really worth the repeated listens, either. I forgot about the CD only after a couple weeks. So unless you're a big fan of trashy pop, I can't really recommend it. From the derivitive title to the bland final track, The Sounds have created an unauthentic, boring, and annoying album.