Korallreven – An Album by Korallreven (Ac?phale)

November 29, 2011 by  

Korallreven is a project that started with Marcus Joons escaping from icy Sweden to tropical Samoa. Four years later he has teamed up with Tj?der of the Radio Dept and released An Album by Korallreven. With it they’ve taken the Samoan sound back to Sweden, and mixed it with every Swedes inexplicable capability of making perfect pop songs.

Released by the tastemakers at Ac?phale the album title might seem a bit mundane, but it also serves a necessary purpose. Korallreven has released a myriad of singles, mixtapes and Britney Spears remixes over the last couple of years, so it would’ve been easy to mistake their debut album for something else if it hadn’t been for the name.

‘Sa-sa-samoa’ are the first words on the album, chanted over a tropical beat on opener ‘As Young As Yesterday’. It’s cheerful, upbeat and raises expectations. Unfortunately, expectations aren’t met on every track, but they all still serve their purpose.

The album is a tropic beauty from start to finish, but it isn’t able to hold your attention all the way through.

Tracks like ‘The Truest Faith’ and ‘Honey Mine’ are both great, memorable pop songs, with exciting hooks and that wonderful tropical sound. They feel like soundtracks to a dive in a coral reef to, surrounded by colourful fish and beautiful scenery.

However, elsewhere the calm ambient sound drowns the great hooks and melodies. Tracks like ‘Pago Pago’ and ‘A Surf on Endorphins’ fail to excite. Although, they’d still be great to listen to while falling asleep on the beach.

Every song on the album has some elements from both sides of this spectrum, and the best songs are those who with the perfect blend. On ‘Loved-up’, their first single, and ‘As Young As Yesterday’ Korallreven manage to express the Samoan spirituality perfectly through a Swedish pop framework.

So if you’re in need of a vacation, either for real or just in your mind, Korallreven’s debut is worth checking out.