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Wannadies - Yeah (RCA)

Three years after "Bagsy Me" the Scandinavian popsters are back with a much more grown up affair of an album. Sure, there are such throwaway melodies as 'I Love Myself' and 'No Holiday', but this album falls broadly into a range of fuzzy anthems. Where "Bagsy Me" was slightly twee and unengaging at times, "Yeah" is a more consistent outing. Par Wiksten's vocals are always easy on the ear and backing accompaniment supplied by Christina Bergmark is sweet and airy. The Wannadies broke the radio barrier (as you may remember more from a certain ad) with their 'You and Me Song' and had a brief flirtation with recognition with 'Hit', but beyond that they're been largely unknown. Which is a shame, because they have the feel good factor of the Super Furries, the competence of say, Catatonia, and the kind of understatement that Ronan Keating could hardly spell.

The album's highlight is undeniably the cynically named 'String Song', which unsurprisingly is an uncharacteristic Wannadies moment. Sweeping and melancholy, it proves that they too can take advantage of the publics love of all things stringy. Except they won't be doing it again for a while, unlike a number of other bands to which the words "over" and "kill" should sound familiar. Also impressive is 'Can't See Me Now' and 'Yeah', which has single written all over it. Maybe the Wannadies will never reach the dizzy, but ultimately shallow, heights of fame of a band like the Stereophonics, but then there isn't much justice in the record industry is there? "Yeah" is one of this year's freshest albums, silly without being na´ve, fun without being too clever and gloriously poppy in a world of pompous ass-holes.

by Annelouise Foley

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