Peter Bjorn and John are back with the release of their sixth album. Full of energy, catchy hooks and rock pop beats, Breakin’ Point is unashamedly pop. Arriving just in time to accompany those warm summer evenings, it’s an album which channels a youthful energy with a rock sensibility. Safe and carefree, Breakin’ Point is an enjoyable listen (if not much else).
The feel good, inoffensive vibes are a constant presence. From the signature whistles on the title track, the excitable piano on ‘Love Is What You Want’ to the damn right catchy clap-a-long pop of opener ‘Dominos’, Breakin’ Point has an overwhelming supply of satisfying hooks. Though the track ‘What You Talking About?’ may well be the most sun drenched of the lot. An 80’s inspired, Duran Duran moment of infectious pop, it’ll become the soundtrack to a lot of people’s summers, and beyond.
Breakin’ Point cements Peter Bjorn and John’s reputation for creating decent, stable, pop/rock. However, it’s the way the Swedish trio always manage to put their unique twist on things, that really makes this album unmistakably PJ&B; it’s not over produced, it sounds fresh and it’s full of character. This isn’t run of the mill pop, this is PJ&B pop. For a band to continue with the success they’ve had over six albums, there’s got to be more than just catchy songs at it’s core. Breakin’ Point shows that the real heart lies with it’s three members, making the music they want, with their own instruments, and with that comes a sense of pure honesty.
Unfortunately the album’s innocence and sense of transparency means there’s no real depth or interesting concepts to be found beneath the surface. If you’re looking for continual discovery on each listen, you may be a disappointed, or even bored. Final track ‘Pretty Dumb Pretty Lame’ tries to go beyond the straight forward casual pop of the rest of the album, but it’s a small whimper of progress, drowned out by the wave of ear-worms that preceded it.
Although the combination of easy flowing riffs and sense of innocence makes for an enjoyable album, there is still a lot to be desired. After the initial fun and feel good vibes lose their potency, there might not be much left, which is slightly disappointing. So make the most of it while the sun’s shining and try to ignore the fact that, for a sixth album, Breakin’ Point should probably have a bit more substance to it.
Breakin’ Point is out now via Kobalt/INGRID