The Swedish duo of John Engelbert and Oskar “Ossi” Bonde add strings and The Soundtrack of Our Lives keyboardist Martin Hedros to their core for their fourth album, Transitions. The album also uses Björn Yttling (of Peter Björn and John) and Pontus Winnberg (of Miike Snow) as executive producers. The duo, who were once compared to The Black Keys and The White Stripes, are stylistically moving into a fascinating arena rock sound for the new century. Songs like “Into the Wild,” “Gone Forever,” and “What’s the Point” feature the kind of echoey, shimmering guitars and loud, present vocals that demand a mass audience’s attention. The slicker production never diminishes the band’s intimacy, and the smoother lines make it easier for the songs to gather the momentum necessary if fans are going to sing along. Like so many modern rock groups, they know the value of hooks; even a relatively subdued tune such as “Everywhere (With You Man)” is sure to throw out a wordless hook right at the onset, planting the seed for its reoccurrence throughout the song.

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