Under Review

Moll Flanders

If You Can’t Understand What You Don’t Understand It’s Not Easy

Crying Bob Records

Review By Alex Hudson

Pop/rock sextet Moll Flanders hail from Sweden but sings exclusively in English, presumably hoping to break through to the same worldwide market enjoyed by fellow countrymen Peter, Bjorn & John and the Knife. Unfortunately, the band’s grasp on the language isn’t quite strong enough to make it work. The inexplicable album title could almost be forgiven, but the clunky lyrics are impossible to ignore—most of the songs contain simplistic rhyme schemes and awkward syntax. “Friday Night” features the clanger “Maybe visit MySpace online / But my computer sucks, I’ll take a nap.” Worst of all, the tune’s sombre delivery makes it impossible to tell if it’s a joke.

Nevertheless, the band has enough musical ideas to make the album entertaining, if occasionally frustrating. “La La La” is a hypnotic new wave groove, brought to life by rich vocal harmonies and gorgeously chiming guitar breaks.

“Valentino” is similarly infectious, with a joyous keyboard riff set against a stomping beat and lush saxophone flourishes. “Fading Away” even features sections of a cappella vocals, simultaneously bringing to mind the Beach Boys and a barbershop quartet. Ignore the lyrics and you could swear that the band was going to be the next big Swedish export.