Andrew Collberg On The Wreath

Maybe it's because he was born in Sweden, growing up in New Zealand, before settling down in Arizona that it's so difficult to work out exactly what Andrew Collberg's angle is. He doesn't quite embrace the Swedish pop aesthetic, nor the great Antipodean tradition of solid guitar pop on his sophomore album, but there's no doubt he's been soaking up influences like a sponge during his meagre 22 years on the planet. That makes On The Wreath a record that dances around without settling down into a comfortable chair, like a hyper child with too many ideas. That might suggest a frantic approach, but the one thing Collberg has going for him is a laidback delivery that makes his songs waft by with minimal impact. It's all very pleasant, but unfortunately little more. It loses steam by the midway point only to pick up again towards the end, and the deft production of Nick Luca (Iron & Wine, Calexico) can't give On The Wreath the weight it requires to connect with the listener. Even Collberg's sunniest songs will be forgotten by the time the CD stops spinning. (Le Pop)