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Sha Boom - 2005 The Race Is On

Dag Finn - vocals
Tommy Denander - guitars, keyboards, producer

Guitars - Kee Marcello, Steiner Hagen, Jonas Karlberg, Bo Reimer, Sayit Dolen
Bass - John Leven, Marcel Jacob, Joel Starander, EZ Gomer
Keyboards - Mic Michaeli, Jorgen Ingestrom, Ulf Steneberg, Dan Helgesen
Drums - Ian Haugland, Christian Ekwall, Daniel Flores, Anders Borjesson
Backing Vocals - Thomas Vikstrom

Bubble gum/glam pop meets AOR? I guess this is how you could describe reincarnated Swedish 80's rockers Sha Boom. Another time-warp is bought forward into the 21st Century, with main man Dag Finn assembling a cast of excellent players who need no introduction to those who follow the Swedish scene. Just why AOR Heaven jumped on the Boom-Bang Bandwagon is uncertain, but it is definitely inspired. No doubt Tommy Denander's contacts enabled this new effort to have a record label behind it, and as we listen to this hefty selection of songs (all thirteen of them), it is apparent that Sha Boom have dipped several toes into musical markets like paint brushes into test pots of paint. Dag's vocals are a cross between Stage Dolls Torstein Flakne and Bonfire's Claus Lessman, the resulting rasp and accent is warm rather than harsh though. The musicianship doesn't need to be questioned, all are quality musicians.

The Songs
Perhaps the comparison should be one of dipping toes into the surf during a long hot summer, as this album has that flip-top convertible, hair in the breeze type of sound so reminscent of the years hottest season. Taking the best bits of eighties glam pop mixed with a tougher modern edge a la Marvellous 3, Kick (UK), or even the new Casanova or Boysvoice records. It is easy to see how some of these tracks could be ear-marked for radio, such is their appeal. 'Message Of Love', the title track 'The Race Is On', and 'Big Bang' are just three tracks that scream out for an audio burst on the airwaves. Then we get songs with a blast of attitude. The opener 'Blah Blah Blah', the uptempo 'Into The Fire' and the sassy 'Get The Party Started' (complete with sax solo) combine to make this CD worth spinning at someone's party for sure! Despite the ballad-like introductions on the pairing of 'Here I Am' and 'Why Did I?', both kick up their heels merrily further into each song.

In Summary
I guess the appeal of this album is the licorice all-sorts approach that has been taken. The songs are laden with melody, there is enough of a contrast, and it stays happy and upbeat all the way through, unlike the latest Frameshift album which is completely the opposite. I am sure that listeners will get very good change out of this album, particularly lovers of short and sharp melodic pop.

Track Listing
01 Blah blah blah
02 Somewhere In The Dark
03 My Hometown
04 The Race Is On
05 22nd Of October
06 Into The Fire
07 Get The Party Started
08 Message Of Love
09 Here I Am
10 Big Bang
11 This Is My Life
12 Why Did I..?
13 Fortune And Fame


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#1 | Jez on June 16 2008 12:43:19
I always found their other releases way to Poppy and a bit on the corny side to really appreciate, but this, with it's slightly tougher sound is a whole lot better. Ok, nothing groundbreaking here, but it does have instantly catchy hooks a plenty, which is why it is so easy to listen too and leaves a big smile on the old face. The Scandies do it yet again.

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