What is it with numbered album titles this year? In 2008, we’ve already had 3 by Portishead, Forth by The Verve and now comes 4 by Dungen. Unfortunately, I have to say that music within Dungen's
forth, make that fifth, release is as bafflingly unoriginal as its title. This isn't a bad record by any means, it's just not nearly as engaging as their (or should I say his) previous albums. I received a copy about a month ago, and despite repeated efforts to give it a fresh listen, it just won't "stick." In other words, I find myself drifting off while listening to it and then completely forgetting about it for days afterward.
The press hype accompanying the album seems to indicate that 4 was intended to be a bit of a departure from the band's trademark hard rockin' Swedish psychedelia ("...blazing, raw guitar workouts have their own time and place, but now, so do stirringly orchestrated, jazz-cooled compositions with cinematic undertones"), but that seems to be a bit misleading. I dug out 2003's Ta Det Lugnt, and there are plenty of "jazz-cooled cinematic undertones" on that album as well. However, the main difference being that they were sandwiched between infectious rock hooks in great tracks like "Panda" and "Festival." On 4, the cinematic undertones just seem to meander without building to anything.
Seeing them live last at The Bottom Lounge recently, one new track that did catch my attention was "Mina Damer Och Fasaner." However, much like trying to listen to the album, I found myself losing interest when they played anything else new. That being said, when they would bust out one of their classic jams, I was quickly reminded me why I liked their previous albums so much and why I will continue to laud them as a great live act.
Download: Dungen - "Mina Damer Och Fasaner"