THE SOUNDTRACK OF OUR LIVES "Flipside" (official video)





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Uploaded on Mar 24, 2009


Issuing a double album in the 21st century, with increasing industry focus on single tracks and ringtones seems crazy at best, pretentious at worst. Communion, the fifth album by Gothenburg, Sweden's rock sextet the Soundtrack of Our Lives, proves that assertion to be dead wrong. This band has stubbornly followed an inner sense of direction that embraces paradox while using the very best of what rock & roll has to offer in order to create powerful music. Communion's 24 tracks are spread over two discs and its total playing time at over 90 minutes makes it longer than the Who's Quadrophenia or Pink Floyd's The Wall. Communion is a loosely based concept record. It addresses alienation and other difficulties of mass culture run amok with technological innovation, yet it unapologetically seeks — and finds — hope in the madness. Paradoxically, these songs all stand independently of one another, they aren't topically or musically heavy-handed, and most are catchy as all get out. They flit from hook-laden psych heavy guitar rock, a layered '60s-style uptempo pop that owes as much to Ray Davies and the Kinks, to the grandness of Arthur Lee and Love, as well as Townshend's gang, Syd Barret's Floyd, and the crunchy, soaring guitar rock of Television. And even as drenched in the past as this music is, it is utterly contemporary and relevant.

There are no overblown — or bloated — conceited anthems here. Indeed, these songs start with the notion of acceptance, and look for connections in the chaos rather than point out the obvious. The tracks are basic rock tunes layered with effects and other sounds that never mask the basic structure of these rather simply driven guitar melodies. Go no further than the spacy, psych-drenched opener "Babel," with its thrumming bassline, hooky organ line with tribal drums, and counterpoint six-strings playing call and response with singer Ebbot Lundberg entering halfway through with his metaphysical: "We're here finalize/the friction of your rise/the twisting of your tongue/together with the sun/The language that we speak/Was spread out to complete/And communicate as one/So turn the towers of Babel on....So come on!" The beautifully multidimensional "Universal Stalker" follows with its harpsichords, acoustic and electric guitars, and Farfisa underlying Lundberg's gentle vocal. The music gradually increases in dynamic, tension, and tempo; it eventually explodes into full rock burn. The first disc also contains an utterly lovely, full-on band arrangement of Nick Drake's "Fly" that manages to transform the song into something of a big-smile, psych-pop wonder, thanks to jangling electric 12-strings and big tom-toms even as it retains the author's melody with simple elegance and integrity.

Disc two begins with the tender, slide-driven pop rock of "Everything Beautiful Must Die," a zen meditation on acceptance set to a faux country backbeat even as its slippery Baroque psych-pop propels it forward. Communion ends with another gorgeous singalong number in "The Passover" (a song about waking up on the other side of transformation), but it could just as easily have concluded with the beautifully tender and largely acoustic "Lifeline," which in just over two minutes offers a confessional bit of instruction about surrendering to love. Communion is easily the most consistent yet visionary and expansive recording Soundtrack have released yet, and proves beyond the shadow of a doubt, they are, even without mass acceptance, an impressively grand rock band; they freely use rock's rich history not to make reference to their own record collections, but rather to further its reach, and that of expression itself, as necessary parts of everyday life.

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