This lot really need no introduction whatsoever. Since the magnificent debut Internal Affairs from 2012 they have released five more albums, this one included and they are now pretty much a household name – especially in their native Sweden. I fell hard for this band right from hello and to this day I haven’t heard one single bad song from them – they have a lowest level so high it’s astounding, something that has made made throw out nines and tens like I had a storage full of ’em – and I stand by each and everyone of them today. This also mean that every time they release a new record my expectations are so high I almost feel sorry for them. Well, you make your bed, you lie in it, boys.
With Covid stopping all plans of touring their last album Aeromantic (2020), the guys decided on making a sequel to that record so it wouldn’t be forgotten when touring is possible again which in turn makes it an easy guess that this one will follow its footprints style-wise – not that I mind as the last record was a killer. As opener ”Violent Indigo” kicks off it’s easy to state that yes, this really will be a sister album to its predecessor. It opens with a lean synth and continues as a pomp-pop-rock tune with some major 80’s AOR vibes with big keyboards over an upbeat, stompy rhythm. It’s a tasty tune with delicious melodies, big hooks and a superb chorus that’s really convincing. Great stuff.
The following ”Midnight Marvelous” keeps the party going with its danceable rhythms and whims of 70’s pop-disco. It’s really pretty much a pure pop-tune with elements of AOR – and the keyboard solo is very inspired by 70’s Pomp Rock. Infectious beats, funky bass lines and mesmerizing melodies takes the song for a winning streak and the effective chorus gets the band the gold-medal. If you’re not seduced I don’t what’s wrong with you. Awesome. The uptempo ”How Long” is more of a straight-forward rocker where some raunchy guitars and beefy rhythms mingles with slick and glossy 80’s AOR sounds. It’s both riffy and spellbindingly catchy. I love this.
Second single ”Burn For Me” brings on more swinging rhythms with both its feet in the 70’s while the melody-arrangements comes in from the mid 80’s. At times, this pumping pop-dance tune takes us back to the band’s debut but wraps the last album around it melody-wise. But that’s not all. Early Toto, Motown influences and Melodic Rock in general with a jazzy piano-solo for good measure is also to be found here complete with a chorus so catchy it hurts. A party-hardy number for summer activities. Great. Third single ”Chardonnay Nights” holds an even more massive summer-vibe. Sure it’s glossy, slick and ingratiating but so uplifting and party-friendly it’s irresistible. With chunky bass lines, smooth keys, rhythmic, danceable beats and a chorus so effective and catchy I feel like quitting my job and buy a yacht for money I don’t have, this song is a complete winner. Besides, who would say to nights sipping on Chardonnay?
With some crispy guitars and a meaty rhythm-section, latest single ”Change” throws some 80’s pop-gloss over some rhythmic grooves and a driving beat our way which makes the song come across as an unreleased Rocky movie-soundtrack. Another hook-laden chorus makes the song stick like super-glue. Very good. ”Amber Through A Window” is a bit more down-beat and held-back in the verses without losing the groove at all. The chorus ups the beat radically and again brings on more danceable rhythms complete with big, catchy as hell radio-rock driven melodies full of hooks. This is brilliant.
”I Will Try” kicks off with a chunky, upbeat swing and the poppy melodies and slick keys takes on an early 80’s AOR vibe with a slight nod towards Journey but this rhythmic shuffle sports a great deal of pop twitches that brings 80’s chart-pop to mind as well. The enormous hook is impossible to defend yourself against and the refrain grabs a hold from go and never loses its grip. Brilliant. On a pompy note, ”You Belong To The Night” dives right into late 70’s/early 80’s disco with huge dance floor friendly rhythms and latin percussion. I hear ABBA in here as well as some Classic Rock laden guitars and the Pop meets Melodic Rock chorus is nothing short of terrific.
Opening with a funky bass and an infectious beat, ”Zodiac” is an uplifting, mid-paced pop-rocker with 80’s laden keyboards but it also sports a slightly darker edge. The main beat makes me think of Michael Jackson’s ”Beat It” but Rolling Stones ”Emotional Rescue” also comes to mind. Or is it ”Miss You” I think of? Anyhow, it’s a catchy thing albeit not as direct as the rest of the songs. Leading single ”White Jeans” is a real party-starter – upbeat, fast-paced with crunchy guitars and galloping pop-rhythm. A big, 80’s pomp-AOR synth and a fat guitar-riff opens the tune which leads to a straight-ahead, pop-laden main melody and the magnificent chorus is totally spot-on, making me wanna rock and roll all nite and party everyday. Also, the video is hilarious.
The Orchestra closes the album in a more unexpected way. Instead of another good-time, party inviting pop-rocker we get ”Moonlit Skies”, a slower-paced tune on the mellow side with a darker mood. But it’s not a depressive number at all, quite the contrary. It holds a held-back yet rhythmic bass and the beat is steady and solid. And despite its moody atmosphere, the tune is quite uplifting, only not as happy-go-lucky swinging as the rest. It’s a pulsating song that holds slight disco-touches and 80’s chart-pop vibes as well as a more rocking outlook. It’s a beautiful tune with more of those striking, contagious melodies. Very good.
Yes, folks, this really is a real sequel – a sister album to Aeromantic if you will. A continuation without putting the band on repeat. And yes, folks, TNFO has done it again. It’s a magnificent album record back to back with a tremendous swing all over, instant catchiness and they manage to be both slick and glossy without being goofy, dated or sugary sweet. That said, with TNFO you know what you’ll get – they have found their brand and they’re sticking to it and I believe they should. This is fun-loving music that makes me smile, makes me wanna party, makes me long for hot summer-days and nights. But most important of all – TNFO still hasn’t written one bad song six albums in. If you’re a fan, this one’s a no-brainer but if you’re not it’s about bloody time now.