Moonbabies The Orange Billboard

The second album from the Swedish duo Moonbabies, The Orange Billboard plays like two records quickly fused together to make a whole. On one hand, you’ve got some rather beautiful and inspired pop harmonies à la Stereolab, and non-offensive, sparkling production that thankfully chooses to not go the route of most indie pop groups these days and overdo everything with a wall of superfluous instruments. On the other hand, major portions of this album pass without even sounding like the band is interested in what’s going on; specifically "Forever Changes Everything Now” and the brief, barely audible ballad, "Wyomi.” It’s an impressive outing if just for the moments of clarity where the band seemingly has this electro-pop lite thing down, like with the epic title track or the excellent opener, "Fieldtrip USA,” but with pointless instrumentals and obvious filler littered throughout, The Orange Billboard is more of a missed opportunity than the name-making statement it could have been. If anything, I suppose, it proves they have the talent in them, but they’ll have to focus it into a full-length as strong as "Summer Kids Go” or "Field Trip USA” to demand attention in a genre already so dangerously overcrowded. (Hidden Agenda)