Katie Goes to Tokyo My Naked Heart

Sweden has long been a hotbed for candy coated pop and Katie Goes to Tokyo is the country's latest bubblegum export. Don't be fooled by the guitars and occasionally rocking rhythm section: Kathrine Bergström's sunny melodies and tuneful, but unremarkable, vocals mean that her music is only marginally more hard-hitting than countrymen Ace of Base and ABBA. Just see opening track "A Long Way from Anywhere," which evokes '80s teen pop, with its chugging guitars and instantly hummable chorus. It's a catchy tune, but unfortunately the album is weighed down by its slow songs. Bergström lacks the powerful voice and memorable lyrics to pull off sluggish cuts like "Suburban Street" and "You Don't Think I Know," so you'll find yourself skipping to the next upbeat track. One of these ballads (the synth-dappled "Paper Moon") was co-written by Hawksley Workman, but even the eclectic Canadian songwriter can't save this one from ending up in the middle of the road. (Redberry)