Concretes In Colour

Good music has never been a particularly blithe affair. There always seems to be more Cures and Elliott Smiths than, say, Broken Social Scenes (and the pretension of that "We hate your hate” album sleeve makes you question just how much you actually love their love). Even the Concretes, a Swedish octet who basked in an etiolated dourness on their eponymous debut, seemed content trundling along in reliably beautiful loneliness. But no, they bum rushed and successfully kicked the shit out of sadness on In Colour; the most listenable celebratory album in recent years. Probably the only band who conflates Motown horns and harmonies with the intricacies of Swedish folk music, the gorgeous dual female leads create a July garden party atmosphere, replete with beer, scones and everyone you care about. Impossible to dislike and custom-engineered for spring, "Change in the Weather” blazons: "We’ll whisper sweet melodies in your ear/so you never feel lonely” and I believe them. (EMI)