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Music Review: Shout Out Louds – “Impossible”

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Lovers of Swedish pop will likely drool over Shout Out Louds. Based out of Stockholm, this quintet arrived on the heels of garage rockers like The Hives and Mando Diao. Their first album Howl Howl Gaff Gaff, was released internationally in 2005 to positive reviews. With 2007’s Our Ill Wills, the band struck it with critics again. Production on the album was by Björn Yttling of the band Peter Björn and John.

The first single from the album was “Tonight I Have to Leave It.” The second single, released a full year after the release of the first single, is “Impossible.” The release of the single features the radio edit of the track, two remixes, a live performance of “Hard Rain,” and another tune called “December.”

“Impossible” is a very catchy tune, lightly swayed with guitar and woodblock percussion. “I don’t want to wake up knowing I don’t have a future,” sings Adam Olenius. When Bebban Stenborg enters the track for backing vocals, it takes on a bit of a Duran Duran feel. The radio edit has chiselled the seven-minute album version of the tune down to a mere 3:55, but it serves as a good introduction to the track.

The remixes toy with the tune and add the customary tomfoolery. The first, “Impossible (Possible Remake by Studio)” is a danceable song with lush synthesiser and cooing vocals. The second remix is more determined. “Impossible (Van Rivers & Subliminal Kid Remix)” toys with more of the tangible structure of the song than the first remix. Mixing vivacious instrumentals and reworking the entire rhythm of the song creates something new and club-worthy, as the over-nine-minute track meanders and reworks the song into something hardly decipherable.

Listeners get a sense of the live act with “Hard Rain,” pulled from the Haldern Festival. The recording is tight and succinct, showing off the Shout Out Louds as a power-pop band with a firm live act. Their gift for jamming and rhythm is evident. The single wraps with “December,” a previously unreleased track that shows more of the band’s tender qualities. “December” is distinctly less poppy than “Impossible” and has more of a pensive feel.

Overall, “Impossible” is worth picking up as a single for fans of the band. Our Ill Wills is a very good album and is a more suitable look at the whole of the band of course, while the remixes and live performances of “Impossible” simply add more colouring to the full picture of this Swedish pop dynamo. The contagious grooves and impressive melodies are reason enough to love the Shout Out Louds, even if “Impossible” doesn’t offer a full representation of the band.

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