Mando Diao
"Ode to Ochrasy"

(Mute 2007)Mando Diao - Ode to Ochrasy

There has to be something in the water that they drink in Sweden. Every Swedish rock band that hits the shores of the States seems to have boundless energy as they seduce fans with their catchy tunes. And Mando Diao are no different. The band's third album, "Ode To Ochrasy," is a whirlwind tour of rock 'n' roll as they let themselves get loose and wild.

Little about Mando Diao's songs could be considered unlikable. The upbeat melodies and tones that dominate "Ode to Ochrasy" are bright and memorable guitar rock. Pounding instrumentation delivers clear-cut and energetic rock on "Welcome Home, Luc Robitaille" and the speeding "Killer Kaczynski" before the bouncing rhythm and swirling melody of "Long Before Rock'n'Roll" goes for a lighter sound. Mando Diao does an impression of NYC hipsters The Strokes on "You Don't Understand Me" before the infectious and memorable "Tony Zoulias (Lustful Life)" speeds by. Putting a twist on the album, the trippy surf sounds of "Amsterdam" and the soft ballad "Josephine" show the band's range and ability. But Mando Diao save the best for last. The finger-picking acoustic guitar ballad "Ochrasy" is tight and smoothly executed as it explains the made-up nature of the album's title.

Mando Diao clearly had fun when they made "Ode to Ochrasy." Just as the band knows how to relax and let it all hang out, they know when to be serious. The result is a well-balanced album that keeps you hooked from start to finish and always delivers a melody that you can hum along with. But sometimes with Mando Diao, the humming might be disregarded in favor of dancing.

A-

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