Vånna Inget is a band I almost forgot about. That’s what six year of absence can do. Things have not been completely quiet during those years to be honest. There has been a single and a live-album, but those releases flew under my radar. Seeing the bands name pop-up in the promo-bin re-ignited something for me. I really liked the bands’ previous full length Ingen Botten and Allvar, so without hesitation, I raised my hand and asked for this review.
The first thing I noticed upon receiving the promo is this line: “The words and texts are more carefully balanced, the arrangement more studied and the orchestra seems to no longer try to gain on pure strength and energy.” Oh dear… Another band that has “matured”? That could be a tricky thing, as Vånna Inget was never the toughest band on the block and looking back at the previous two albums it would fit in the evolution the band was already going through, but still I was not sure if this direction would fit this band. Vånna Inget relies on catchy melodies and vocal lines that you will be able to reproduce for days. The thing is: the punk influences were already pretty minimum on Allvar. On Ingen Botten a bit of the punk edge was replaced by Joy Division influences. Reduce that punk edge even more and I am not sure if I can still enjoy it. Utopi puts this to the test.
The album starts out on a familiar tone. The first two tracks “Eld” and “Främlingar” have that punky vibe we know from the first two albums. Track number three, “Murar” is a different beast all together. This is a more soft-rockish song, almost a ballad. It is catchy, but not really why I listen to Vånna Inget. “Mörkrets Barn” is the most post-punky song on the record. It starts out with a typical almost industrial beat and it keeps this beat until the end of the song. It feels a bit cold and distant. On “Skuggor” Vånna Inget opts for a stadium rock approach, something I did not see coming, but they manage to make it work. It is not until the eight track “Kärlek Och Hat” that the punk influences really return. Only for two songs though, as album closer “80-Talsbarn” is a piano driven ballad. That leaves us with only four punk songs, a lot less than I hoped for.
Is that a bad thing though? That depends on your point of view, really. I was a bit disappointed at first. The album had to grow on me. This was mainly due to the difference between the album and my expectations of what it would be. After listening to this album a lot I appreciate it more. However, I think that I will pick one of the previous albums if I want to listen to Vånna Inget in the future. It speaks volumes though that my favorite tracks are the punk tracks at the beginning and end of the album. The songs in the middle don’t do that much for me. This is a very personal preference though and does not have much to do with the quality of the songs on Utopi.
The shift in style on this album means that a lot of the punk energy is lost. It is exchanged for a more diverse approach to song-writing; there’s more room for a different influences. The sense of melody and Karolina’s voice are the two ingredients that tie these songs together, that prevent it from being a random collection of songs, which is something not be neglected.
Although I have enjoyed listening to this album, this is not their best work to date. I hope we won’t have to wait this long again for a next album and I do hope the punk influences will be more prevalent next time around.
8.0 / 10
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