The Danish duo of Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo traveled to Los Angeles to work on Observator, their sixth studio album as The Raveonettes. Diagnosed with clinical depression, Wagner battled his demons with further substance abuse, and his battles are reflected in the forlorn atmosphere that dominates the set. Teaming up with their original producer, Richard Gottehrer, The Raveonettes turn pain and suffering into a beautiful haze. Recorded in just a week at L.A.'s legendary Sunset Sound Studios, Observator teems with gorgeous, wistful melodies and an energy far more infectious and spiritually rewarding than Wagner's downward spiral. The music of "Sinking with the Sun" bounces with a shoegaze, Britpop optimism. "Observations" evokes the keyboard-guitar-bass drama of the medieval-based Aerosmith epic "Kings and Queens" in its quieter moments, while also using a lead guitar line that aches like The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter." Despite—or because of—the human pain involved in its creation, Observator is a bright spot in a dark world. Essential.

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