Saturday 18 November 2017

Swedish House Mafia: Quiet farewell to the dons of dance music

Album of the week Swedish House Mafia Until Now EMI

Swedish House Mafia
Swedish House Mafia
Eamon Sweeney

Eamon Sweeney

It's been said before, ad nauseum, but it's worth reiterating again -- what happened in the Phoenix Park at the Swedish House Mafia concert this summer was horrific and despicable.



However, it is not in the remit of an album review to revisit that sick and sorry episode at any great length. This is Swedish House Mafia's farewell album and you don't read about stabbings every time you see an article about the Rolling Stones or Primal Scream.

It remains unclear exactly why this phenomenally successful triumvirate of producers collectively known as Swedish House Mafia are calling it a day.

Over the past few years, they've consistently perfected the dynamics of euphoric rave pop, while becoming one of the best known and highest-earning members of the so-called EDM movement in the process. Call me old-fashioned, but I much prefer more straightforward parlance like rave or dance.

As well as playing enormous live shows that no other contemporary electronic act (aside from David Guetta) can hold a glow stick to, SHM show a keen and razor-sharp eye for making a buck in the era of ever-dwindling sales.

The promotional video for the opening track and huge hit Greyhound features some blatant product placement for Absolut vodka.

One suspects they could enjoy even more lucrative careers as producers, which is probably exactly why SHM is being put to bed.

It's a real pity and missed opportunity that these Mafioso are bowing out with what's probably their most formulaic and boring single, Don't You Worry Child featuring John Martin.

It really is awful -- a turgid soup of Eurotrash cheese and half-baked cod histrionic vocals.

The omnipresent radio remix of Coldplay's Every Tear Drop is a Waterfall sums it all up, pitching them as EDM's equivalent to Chris Martin and his much-maligned men.

For their legions of fans, Until Now will probably sell reasonably well in the run up to Christmas, although many of these tracks have already been all over YouTube with viewing figures in the million for some time, so it's highly unlikely that it'll be this season's major selling smash.

The horror of knife crime at a SHM gig wasn't confined to our beleaguered isle, as there were isolated stabbing incidents at a subsequent concert at Milton Keynes.

In all, 2012 has been something of an annus horribilis farewell year for Swedish House Mafia, so it's probably just as well they're quitting while they're still slightly ahead. Sadly, not with a bang, but a whimper.

KEY TRACKS Every Teardrop is a Waterfall, Greyhound, You Got the Love (Mark Knight Remix)

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