PAPER – We design the future (album review)

Post what?

When the first track of an album is named The Magnificent Descent Of A Lowland Arpeggiator I guess you can think there is a lack of simplicity in the music. When the first track of an album lasts 10’51 I guess you have the right to wonder if the band behind it is megalomaniac. Or if they have an appetence for commercial suicide. I mean “The Magnificent Descent Of A Lowland Arpeggiator”?? 10’51?? Seriously?? You tell me that and I picture right away never-ending guitar solos. Or even worse: a concept album!

First PAPER album, An Object, was smashing. Second one Mischmasch was pure genius (my fav album of the year 2011). We design the future is therefore their third album. It’s gonna be released by Novoton in two days, on Wednesday 14th of October. It sounds different than their previous ones but keeps on somehow going in the same direction, with the same radical spirit. And no, this is not a concept album actually.

When Come On, the first single, came out in July, I wrote it was “less punk” than their usual tunes. I was not wrong, but actually the whole album is much much more extreme than anything they did before. More diverse. Probably post something, but I could not state post what. Post punk maybe. Or maybe just punk. For instance, in one of its best song, the very noisy Friah, (which lasts 12h50…), Calle Olsson repeats at the end, all over and over again, “Du är så jävla dum i huvvet” (“you’re so fucking stupid” in English) while some politicians are speaking in the background. And We Hold You Responsible is a straightforward hardcore hit in the face. So, yeah, this is not a punk record per se but PAPER are angry and politically involved.

Not sure radios will enjoy the album though. American Bible might be the only obvious (and great!) single. The other songs are somehow obscure. I can imagine though that if you enjoyed their previous records you’re gonna like this new one, probably the more adventurous and ambitious of their career.

More important, this is to me an album. A proper album, I mean. It seems obvious, but I cannot see much proper albums these days. Sure, there are records featuring songs, but albums? Am not too sure. Here, there is clearly a point of view behind it. And a coherence. And numbers have not been chosen randomly (in this respect, the album had to begin with The Magnificent Descent Of A Lowland Arpeggiator and to end with 16’24 long Rushmore). That’s why I tend to consider it as the most fascinating Swedish album of this year since it might be the only proper album of this year. And if it is not easy to love it at first listen, you are gonna find it hard to give up listening to it eventually.

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