Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

PB&J album is curiously downbeat

It’s hard to figure out Peter Bjorn and John.

The Swedish band set the music world aflame with their 2007 album “Writer’s Block,” a fantastic blend of poppy hooks and melodies with the dangerously addictive single “Young People.” The album hit like a party in progress and put the boys at the top of the list of Scandinavian bands making (new) waves across the pond.

Curious listeners who have waited breathlessly for a proper follow up – the band released a mostly instrumental album, “Seaside Rock,” in 2008 – will probably disappointed. There’s nothing wrong with “Living Thing.” It’s smart enough and chock full of interesting references.

Problem is it’s not a lot of fun. There are no soaring moments of joy from Peter Moren, Bjorn Yttling and John Eriksson like on “Writer’s Block.” Lyrically, Moren seems bummed out. And musically, the album never achieves liftoff, perhaps chained to the ground by too many ideas.

Opener “The Feeling” seems ominous with its monotonous drumbeat and slow pacing. “It Don’t Move Me” is an homage to the ever dour Depeche Mode.

There are some fun moments here – “Lay It Down,” with its unprintable chorus, for instance. And Peter Bjorn and John remain a band to watch because they’re smarter and more inventive than many of their contemporaries.


Peter Bjorn and John

“Living Thing” (Startime International/Almost Gold)

Genre: pop

Grade: C

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

Search site | Terms of service