A few months ago, some whistling, bass, laidback drumming and the charming interplay between male and female vocalists made the Internet go bonkers. The reason for all the blogosphere gushing was "Young Folks," a breezy love song by the comma-hating Swedish trio Peter Bjorn and John. The song was, in a word, perfect. It deserved every appearance it made on Myspace profiles and left a lot of web-savvy kids eagerly anticipating more.
Fortunately, all those hungry souls can rest easy now as PB&J have answered their prayers by finally making Writer's Block--the album from which "Young Folks" originated--available in North America.
After a brief, noisy introduction, Writer's Block storms out of the gate with the concussive "Objects of my Affection." The song is powerful, catchy as SARs and unavoidably uplifting. PB&J follow up this opening blast with the aforementioned "Young Folks," which sounds even better juxtaposed with the force of "Objects" than it does on an MP3 blog. By the halfway point of the next song, the bobbing "Amsterdam," it's obvious PB&J's internet success was no fluke; they're a seriously talented band and Writer's Block is a frighteningly good pop album.
PB&J will probably be written off by some because they don't tread any new territory. Though this criticism has some merit, Writer's Block and its luscious melodies, gleeful sequencing and simple, addictive songwriting is simply too good to write off because it relies upon pop conventions. It might not break any new ground, but Writer's Block is a staggering showcase of pop music's ability to be more than just choruses.
Its record may be spotty at best, but the Internet got it right with Peter Bjorn and John.