iii by Miike Snow
Three is the magic number. With their third studio album iii, the holy trinity of Christian Karlsson, Pontus Winnberg and Andrew Wyatt have returned to flood the world with their synth-infused electric pop. The end product doesn’t sound remarkably different from its predecessors, but Miike Snow have perfected the formula. The album sounds sophisticated and experienced, with few tracks letting the side down, allowing the trio to branch into other areas of inspiration.
‘My Trigger’ opens iii like a freight train, settling you into the album’s toxic groove. From the onset, it’s clear that syncopated rhythms overlapped by Wyatt’s falsetto vocals will carry the album. No song is without a hook; each song is like a rebirth as your memories of the last track are pushed aside by some new gripping inclusion. Despite this, the album doesn’t descend into madness, instead falling into a pleasant mid-album tempo- although the transition during ‘For U’ is slightly chunky.
What characterises iii is its ridiculously good production value. The trio’s excellent grasp of dynamics gives the album a heightened sense of movement that pulls you along with its every drop and resurgent climax. The percussion is perfectly weighted, neither monotonous or overbearing. The melodies are fluid yet precise, exhibited best by Wyatt’s floating tones in ‘Back Of The Car’. The album also steps into some darker territory in ‘Heart Is Full’, where the use of sampling applies a soulful aspect to Miike Snow’s latest brain-child. By the time you’ve come to terms with all iii has to offer, it’s over, with ‘Longshot (7 Nights)’ providing a beautifully exotic pentatonic laid back finale.
Few artists know the difference between too much and too little, but Miike Snow know where the sweet spot is, and iii hits it over and over again.