Review ·

You have to wonder what kind of impact touring for months on end with Oasis would have on a band. For all but the most vigilant, everything from your nasal passages to your ego would inflate larger than Winston Churchill at a dessert table. From the sound of Origin Vol. 1, Sweden�s the Soundtrack of Our Lives seemed to have at least picked up a few lessons in unchecked hubris after releasing Behind the Music in 2002 and touring with the Gallagher brothers. Origin is a saccharin mouthful of bloated riffs, burdensome lyrical clich�s, and second-rate studio trickery -- songs that lurch rather than rock. In other words, it�s Oasis at their best or the Doves at their absolute worst.


Maybe it�s the whole second-language thing, but I�m struggling to find much meaning, let alone inspiration, in lines like these: �For what you borrow you just won�t keep forever/ When you�re gone to never disappear/ Gone to never disappear� from the hook-wretched ballad �Songs for the Others.� And though the rest of Origin is more upbeat, vocalist Ebbot Lundberg fails to rise above such middling imagery. It�s a situation made all the more painful by his straining baritone and absurdly extravagant song-titles, including �Transcendental Suicide� and �Royal Explosion (Part II)� (both of which, in sound and content, would work better as Monty Python skits).

Flanking Lundberg are five musicians with an assortment of Alpine surnames, none of whom manage more than a spasm of originality across the album�s twelve tracks and two bonus tunes. "Believe I�ve Found� aims for a space epic a la �Wish You Were Here�; �Mother One Track Mind� and �Bigtime� go for cannon-fire AC/DC-isms; and �Midnight Children� enlists French chanteuse Jane Birkin for something resembling lounge. But all of it sounds cribbed, lifeless and past its expiration date.

While Liam and Noel solider on, we can only hope the Soundtrack of our Lives is planning an early retirement. And considering Europe�s generous pensions, the band members should have plenty reason to catch up on their reading, drink some Absolut, and forget about the British music press�s early prophecies of world domination.

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