Album: A Perfect World
Label: The End Records
Release Date: 10/21/2016
They’re huge in their native Sweden, and a couple minutes into this disc it’s already obvious why. tAKiDA lives in that nu-era middle ground somewhere between catchy pop and brooding hard rock, blending tight guitar crunch with earwormy melodies to get a lively crowd on their feet. These riffs and backbeats sound tailor-made for blaring out of club speakers at maximum volume, particularly when it’s warm enough to spill out into the beer garden. Cue up A Perfect World and you can almost see flashing strobes and people futilely screaming drink orders over thumping subwoofers.
If you haven’t heard such a popular Scandinavian name before, it’s because the decade-strong crew is just breaking out with their first U.S. release. It was clearly made with world (or at least radio/Spotify) domination in mind, with the slick big-label production and inevitable Auto-tuning that entails. A little overwrought? Sure, somewhat, though it’s pretty easy to just crank up and enjoy nonetheless. It’s an album definitely suited to dancing more than analyzing, considering the big punchy drum beats and the frequency of words like “eyes” and “tonight.”
These fellows show themselves equally at home with radiant choruses (“Better,” “Flowerchild”), strip-club raunchiness (“Don’t Wait Up,” “Wild Eyes”) or lighter-waving ballads (“Don’t Forget About Me”). tAKiDA specializes in accessibly familiar themes with pounding rhythms and hooks to get you bouncing in spite of yourself; maybe there’s nothing here we haven’t all heard before, but that doesn’t make it any less fun.