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Mixtapes and Cellmates - Mixtapes and Cellmates

  by Tommy Gunnarsson

published: 8 / 11 / 2007

Mixtapes and Cellmates - Mixtapes and Cellmates
Label: One Little Indian
Format: CD


Dull and somewhat substandard Radio Dept-influenced pop on debut album from Swedish group Mixtapes and Cellmates

When I was doing some research before going to the Emmaboda festival back in 2005, I stumbled upon the unknown (at least for me) band Mixtapes and Cellmates. I found two songs that were available as downloads, and within minutes I sat there listening to 'Static, Oh Static' and wondered if I had clicked on the wrong link, and by accident had downloaded an unreleased the Radio Dept song instead. But no, it was the correct song, and my next feeling was that it must be some kind of joke, maybe a Rutles version of the Radio Dept? It felt like a long shot, but when I listened to the second song, 'A: Pavement, B: Home' it seemed to be the only reasonable explanation. Now it is the time for the band’s self-titled debut album, and apparently some water has passed under the bridge since last time, which isn’t so very strange, as we have changed our annual calendars two times since then. On the first track 'Home', they have put the distorted vocals on the shelf and instead they seem to be aiming at filling the void that the Postal Service has left after their first, and so far sole, album. But quite soon we are back in Radio Dept Land again, with Radio Dept's frontman Johan Duncansson apparently having been forced to abdicate in favour of Bright Eyes' singer Conor Oberst. At least that’s what it sounds like from time to time, and while that is quite okay it sadly never gets much better than that. 'You Are/Just Like Me', for example, is a really good pop tune, which would have fitted perfectly on 'Pet Grief', the Radio Dept’s last album. As a bonus we get three songs from the sold out EP, 'If There is Silence, Fill It With Longing', songs that are also available on the compilation 'Retrospective;, that compiles the band’s first two EPs. Is it worth it ? Well…

Track Listing:-
1 Hold
2 The Better Half Of Cynical Boys
3 Quiet
4 You Are / Just Like Me
5 I Left
6 Like Something Worth Remembering
7 Statement
8 Moments
9 Dress Up, Wear Down
10 Streetlights Saved My Life
11 Distance, Blinding Lights
12 C: And D: The Road Home
13 A Quiet Evening

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