Alphabeat - This Is Alphabeat

If you’re a true Alphabeat fan we’d strongly recommend you hunt out the songs not deemed worthy for us Brits.

It seems only fitting that as summer arrives with potential offers of sunshine and outdoor drinking that the irrepressible Alphabeat should release their debut album.

‘Fantastic Six’ might not have got the proper release it deserved, but it’s a perfect opener here. Melodies and harmonies happening all over the place, it’s glorious and very atypical of Alphabeat. ‘Fascination’ and ‘10000 Nights’ follow in quick succession; the former coming dangerously close to being a perfect pop song, the latter more straight-forward but making the most of the interplay between vocalists Anders SG and Stine.

It’s the latter half of the album which raises some issues, and with it comes a necessity to compare this UK release to the Danish original debut. Whether it be pressure from their label or simply a desire in the group to affect some changes for the British release, many amendments and additions have been carried out. ‘Boyfriend’ has been spruced up, with added bells and whistles; they’re not terrible add-ons, just ever so slightly unnecessary. Of three new songs added, ‘Touch Me Touching You’ is the best, and even though it displays Alphabeat’s cheeky sense of humour, it fails to live up to its live promise, sounding disappointingly flat on record. ‘Go-Go’ is Eighties-by-numbers and though it is enlivened by some funky bass, it’s too laid back and is a touch over-long.

There has been tinkering with most of the songs from the Danish release, a bit of slowing down here, a bit of electro thrown in there. It all worryingly sounds like the producer was trying to (God forbid) Hoxtonise some of the tracks. The wonderfully cheerful ‘Ocean Blue’ and the pure pop harmonies of ‘The Hours’ are not included, disappointing because these two specifically showcase the band’s talent for pure, simple and heartwarming pop.

We’d argue that the Danish release is, overall, a stronger record. It flows, and is more coherent as a pop album. The British release, on the other hand, feels more like a debut album genetically modified and turned in to a confused second album. To a newcomer to the group this won’t, of course, be a major problem. But if you’re a true Alphabeat fan we’d strongly recommend you hunt out the songs not deemed worthy for us Brits.

Tags: Alphabeat, Reviews, Album Reviews

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