With their unerring knack for pop melodies, and the winsome charm of Victoria Bergsman's fragile voice swathed in subtly shaded horns, strings and keyboards, The Concretes are like a cross between The Cardigans and The Divine Comedy - a great pop prospect poised engagingly on the cusp of naivety and sophistication. In Colour is full of gently insistent hooks and flourishes that plant themselves firmly in the memory - a fine successor to last year's instant classics from the likes of Kaiser Chiefs, Gorillaz and Magic Numbers (whose Romeo Stoddart duets here on "Your Call"). The lyrical focus is firmly on love, but somehow these Swedes manage to find new angles on the oldest story, as in Bergsman urging her partner to "spend some time in the shade of me" ("Sunbeams"), asking that he "try and turn the next page with some tenderness" ("Fiction"), and revealing how she "made a song for your ears only" ("On the Radio"). The breadth of the band's instrumental palette enables them to colour their songs with tints and hues that recall so many strata of the folk/pop spectrum, from The Band to Espers and The Coral, all lovingly applied with enough exultant warmth to heat the coldest spirit.
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