Permer Summerdays Attract The Pain

As one-half of the Swedish duo Waltz For Debbie, Martin Permer is no stranger to light-hearted electronic pop music. As his tastes and collection of personal studio gear expanded, he decided to release this solo record of music that didn't quite suit the Waltz For Debbie style. Summerdays Attract The Pain is by no means an abstract or challengingly self-indulgent album. Instead, Permer gets to salute the sounds of genre leading artists like the Pet Shop Boys or Saint Etienne, this time tackling the vocal duties that are normally handled by Annica Lundback in his full-time band. He can definitely sing, although a vocal similarity to Robbie Williams is a little off-putting. For the most part, the album's 14 songs are a collection of nice '80s-style dance pop, and he definitely knows how to write catchy songs. He did, however, have some songwriting help from other players in Malmo's vibrant music scene, including Club 8, Bjorn Stegmann and Agnes Bylander, who adds her vocals to a few of the tracks. Guitars, flute and some live drums join the machines to give the songs a bit of life, although the album does still come across as heavily produced. Still, if your stomach can handle sugary pop music at its purest, this makes for some fun listening. (Parasol)