Kristoffer Ragnstam
"Wrong Side Of The Room"

(Bluhammock Music 2008)Kristoffer Ragnstam - Wrong Side Of The Room

Once you realize that Kristoffer Ragnstam started his musical career off drumming as a fifteen year old, the singer-songwriter's rhythmically driven sophomore album "Wrong Side Of The Room" starts to make a lot more sense. Sure, the album is full of upbeat indie pop rock melodies but if you strip that away, it's the Swedish musician's steady and often ear catching rhythms that will draw you in.

Full of boundless energy, Ragnstam opts to stay between the lines and remain relatively reserved for much of his album, such as on the opening track "Stop On Top" which rushes in with music that swells up and speeds away. But when he does break out and have a little fun the album benefits. The stamping rhythm of "Disco Fiasco" marries with a shrill melody and shows off stronger vocals while the much more unassuming tracks "Sorry For Being The Man Of 1000 Questions" and "Wrong Side Of The Room" let Ragnstam play around with his succinctly annunciated spoken delivery over dreamy instrumentation. "Nothing bores me more than an overrated poet with an acoustic guitar and way too much to say," Ragnstam sings on the softly twinkling "2008," perhaps foreshadowing the album's closing track, "Of All Summers," which sees an acoustic guitar ballad start before being filled in with a sound that abandons the pop formula.

Ragnstam makes "Wrong Side Of The Room" sound fresh and deceptively upbeat while managing to sweep you up with his thumping, tapping tempos. But the abrupt turn that he makes with "Of All Summers" makes you wonder about what you don't hear on "Wrong Side Of The Room."

B+

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