Review: The Raveonettes – Observator

Published on September 18th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams

Copenhagen duo The Raveonettes could be easily dismissed as just another all-too-JAMC-ish convergence of reverb and distortion were their songwriting not so consistently strong, and their sixth studio album Observator provides further proof that originality needn’t be a prerequisite of a satisfying listening experience.

The joyously fuzz-caked melodicism of opener “Young and Cold” is a stellar showcase of Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo’s understated yet expressive harmonies, the whole thing revelling Ed Sharpe-like in its own retro tendencies, while “Observations” also crafts something beautiful-sounding out of a relatively minimalist approach to songwriting, at least in terms of chord progressions; in any case this is covered by some gorgeous arrangements, in this case a quite brilliant detour into classically crashing piano. Gotta love the fuzzy lead guitar and the light airiness of their voices, too.

“The Enemy” – not about The Enemy, in case you were wondering – comes over like a nice, jangly cross between Mew and early Boo Radleys, before “She Owns the Streets” fuses the ’60s and ’80s with jangly John Squire guitar reminiscent of The Stone Roses’ “Mersey Paradise”. Remarkably, “Downtown” manages to sound even more like “Mersey Paradise”, except faster, fuzzier and with extra added time signature trick, leaving it up to “Till the End” (sic) to bring the curtain down on a sweetly, honestly melodic note that evokes early Teenage Fanclub and therefore cannot fail to charm.

Observator is more of a warm hug than anything earth-shattering, while at a mere nine tracks (perhaps due to Wagner being diagnosed with clinical depression?) it passes by all too quickly, but there will always be a place for The Raveonettes.

Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!

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Observator is out now on Vice Records. For more information please visit theraveonettes.com

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About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.