Heartwarming travelogue from Swedish master of sweet tune to take the listener on arresting trip through his soul.
There’s been a nice creative streak for singing multi-instrumentalist Klas Qvist, who didn’t finish his 2017 double album “Second Thoughts” when its follow-up started forming around a vague concept of an affair which could involve a change of locale and a homecoming sort of tour de force. The resulting record could seem triumphant if these thirteen pieces didn’t sound so alluringly simple and didn’t hide so cleverly their irresistible sophistication that owes a lot to Citizen K’s expertise in cross-decade musical progress. Still, analysis must be far from one’s mind when the songs call to join him on a journey around the world.
The piano-propelled cinematic pop of “Welcome Abroad” may promise adventure in its scintillating guitars, yet it’s not going to be a wild ride. With a warm welcome slowly spreading via vocal harmonies and handclaps of “True Companions” which, though firmly rooted in the ’60s innocence, takes off lightly to soar in psychedelic skies, it’s a soft jaunt to familiar places where surprises are aplenty anyway. That’s why, while delicious MOR runs through “Toolmaker’s Daughter” whose organ-fueled ’70s jive is quite hypnotic, and the riff-driven dance shimmer behind “Oceans Call” brings on the ’80s sort of memories, the domestic details in “Let This Be Love” – “mattress on the floor” doesn’t fail to feel intimate – will end up as the most delightful moments here.
“How does it feel to be an alien at your own party?” inquires K in a delicate, acid-colored “How Are You Gonna Handle It?” trying to embrace a different kind of trip, but the woodwind-like intro of “Cancelled Flight” elevates elegy to spiritual solemnity from down-to-earth situation depicted in the song, and a half-humorous “Radio Classic (No More Songs About Jet Planes, please)” adds a smile to those degrees of separation. A couple of paler pieces in the latter part of platter could have been left out for better impact, yet there’s a folk-inspired “Beasts Of England” to make the flow more playful, and it’s only logical that the gentle nostalgia of “And You Danced All Night” is the album’s lulling faux finale, because “After The Fact (Encore)” should let a number of platitudes bring this journey to a close for one not to shed a joyous tear.
Yes, it’s an emotional voyage with a newly found friend – a fellow citizen of the world.