Cinnamon Vertigo

Banality is the poetry of pop: plainspoken, its text is impotent, but simply by virtue of the deftness of its rendering, every "I love you," every "ba-ba-ba" is Leaves of Grass evaporated into gulpable air. Cinnamon are as in love with the very idea of pop as the touchstones (fellow Swedes Abba, Bacharach, Dusty Springfield) that galvanised them. They believe that pop is at once a central and tertiary element of life - that there is no good in posing alongside the Eiffel Tower without the chorus of "Je T'Aime" thundering in your head, and vice versa. Their fourth album, Vertigo, would stand as a wildly successful style construct if it weren't imbued with so much obvious sincerity. Cinnamon care, care enough to swell these masterful but humble love songs into wide-screen, pan-global romance films in which violins and trumpets rise to meet their most urgent moments. Care enough to sing "You're gonna die" as if it were cause to celebrate, because certainty of death is the ultimate reason to embrace life. Certainly, credit is due to producer Bertrand Burgalat and arranger Louis Philippe (both admirable artists in their own right) for giving Vertigo its incomparable majestic sweep, but Cinnamon are something to be especially cherished. North America doesn't turn out pop groups of this sort anymore, because their deliberate straddling of the disposable and the deep, vacuous clichés and eternal truths are conflicts too broad to accommodate the rigid slots of commerciality. Stop the continent, I want to get off! (March)