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The Black And White Album

The Swedish fivesome’s trademark sound is so ridiculously simple that you’ll be humming it all day, and with their quirky humour, probably with a grin on your face.

Rating: 9 / 10

Shilpa Ganatra, 02 Nov 2007

If ever there was an antithesis to Radiohead, it’s the Hives. The Swedish fivesome’s trademark sound is so ridiculously simple that you’ll be humming it all day, and with their quirky humour, probably with a grin on your face.

It’s a pleasure to behold their lack of complexity – which gives the title even more relevance. What they lack in depth they make up in strength, expelling quality riff after riff, and just when you thought they had exhausted every possible combination of melody, another riff.

Accordingly, The Black And White Album is crammed full of tunes – from the opener ‘Tick Tick Boom’ that introduces us to The Hives that we know and love, to Pharrell Williams-produced ‘T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S.’, in which vocalist Pelle Almqvist succumbs to the current falsetto trend.

And Pharrell isn’t the only guest producer – Ireland’s own Garret ‘Jacknife’ Lee lends his hand to ‘Hey Little World’, a classic Hives track with a chorus that packs an equal punch to any of rock’s heavyweights.

Yet they save the best until last with bonus track ‘Fall Is Just Something Grown Ups Invented’, which My Chemical Romance fans will adore for more than its contrary lyrics.

Critics may argue that they’ve painted themselves into a corner with such a specific niche, but as shown with Tyrannasaurus Hives and now this, they have the imagination to keep it both fresh and familiar. Roll on the live shows.

Rating: 9 / 10
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