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Articles Home » 1996 Articles » Erlandsson, Mikael - 1996 Under The Sun
Erlandsson, Mikael - 1996 Under The Sun

ARTIST: Erlandson, Mikael
ALBUM: Under The Sun
LABEL: Hawk Records
YEAR: 1996


LINEUP: Mikael Erlandson - vocals * Mats Johanson - electric and accoustic guitars * Henrik Thomsen - bass * Tommy Lydell - piano, keyboards, Hammond B3 * Imre Daun - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Open Book * 02 Can't Turn Back Now * 03 Today * 04 Under The Sun * 05 Touch You Now * 06 Hot Shoes * 07 Down To Earth * 08 Television * 09 Suppose * 10 The Loser * 11 1000 Years * 12 A Place To Hide In Town

Here's a lovely bright burst of sunshine sneaking through the musical landscape, in the form of rock/pop vocal prince Mikael Erlandson. With looks similar to Frenchman David Hallyday, and a sound that's more at home on the American cornbelt, Mikael can't help but appeal to more than his Swedish fan base. Not as much a dead giveaway as Danish duo Sko/Torp are, in terms of playing this 'heartland' style of music, but you can see his influences are similar, and soaked with lots of blues guitar to boot. His voice is a cross between a blues belter such as John Kilzer, and the more swvelt vocal tones of Lars Aas from Norwegian band Davinci. There is also a smattering of euro pop, just to ensure we all don't forget where he comes from and what he represents.

The Songs
The album starts with 'Open Book', a very good representation of what is to follow, with a gorgeous chorus the boys from Easy Action or Red Fun would be proud of. The pace increases with 'Can't Turn Back Now', an urgent melodic rocker with another great chorus. I also quite liked the percussive arrangement of the title track 'Under The Sun', it reminded me quite a bit of Roscoe Martinez's material. The keyboard theme is quite catchy too. A John Kilzer style rocker appears in the shape of 'Touch You Now', I wonder whether Mikael hasn't paid a visit to Memphis to do some songwriting with some of these people? 'Hot Shoes' follows in it's steps (excuse the pun), and could very well have found a place on a Kilzer album. 'Down To Earth' slows up somewhat, and is a mesmerizing ballad with some haunting guitar. 'Television' works up a sweat again, a melodic workout though the lyrics don't exactly fit the song. Perhaps the heaviest and most 'out of sorts' song on the album is 'The Loser', complete with violins on overdrive! To end, the album winds down with a soothing ballad 'A Place To Hide In Town'. Not sure if this was a good move as the song tends to peter out at the end, finishing the album flat, rather than upbeat.

In Summary
However, I enjoyed the material for what it's worth, though I still reckon Mikael should pack his bags and head to the US, where these sorts of songs will go down well in the midwest for sure.

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