Despite two attempts, David Lindgren hasn’t managed to win Sweden’s Melodifestivalen. Last March he faced the indignity of finishing dead last in the public televote. With his sophomore album Ignite the Beat he picks himself up, hits the synthezier, and gets back to doing what he does best: dropping catchy dance tracks that will make you move.
There are no dull moments on this 10-track album. The first track ‘Intro’ gives a flavour of the sounds to come: It’s electro, bass heavy and full of vocoder-enhanced vocals. Standout tracks include ‘Move That Thing’, ‘Drive’, ‘Good Time To Be Bad’, and ‘Skyline’—his 2013 Melodifestivalen entry and the album’s first single. The other tracks are decent enough to cut the radio.
‘Move That Thing’:
Sadly ‘decent enough’ may not be good enough. Last spring Lindgren sharply divided the Wiwi Jury in its #melfest edition of reviews. Now I see why. Ignite The Beat has 10 great songs, but it’s not a great LP. Halfway through, the next song starts to sound like a remix of the song you just heard. Also, on repeat listens, the lyrics appear insincere. For example ‘Move That Thing’ is a sexually-charged pop number laced over an aggressive beat. The track totally screams Chris Brown, not a clean-cut Mormon-looking Lindgreen. EMI attempts to package Disney as Cassanova. The Swedish High School Musical Star fails to measure up.
Lindgreen is disconnected from the song-writing, arrangement and production process, and it really shows. A snippet or two on the radio is welcome, but I’m not drawn into this body of work. It lacks in concept, artistry and longevity. Two years from now, it’ll be almost un-listenable. Nonetheless, technology like the ‘shuffle’ function means that Ignite The Beat does produce a few pop gems that will get a few listens down the road.