Tonight in Seattle:  

The Charade — A Real Life Drama

The Charade -- A Real Life Drama

{7.2}

{Skipping Stones}

Lately I've been on a mission to find the perfect feel-good pop song. You know, the kind that makes you wish you had written something as lilting and laidback as a sunny day in the middle of July. And "My Song To You" — the album opener for A Real Life Drama, the second album from Swedish pop band The Charade — comes pretty damn close.

The song's lyrics never quite reveal exactly who is "such a lovely person" that "makes the whole world love you," but it might as well be the band singing about themselves. It would take a seriously surly old hack not to appreciate those ba-ba-ba-da's, lightly strummed acoustic guitars, and sunny electric keyboard riffs.

The Charade shell out great pop songs with 60's pop throwback in the shape of fancyfree boy-girl harmonies, courtesy of Ingela Matsson and Magnus Karlsson. The retro influence crops up just about everywhere on this album, but especially on "Sunny Winter Afternoon", in which Matsson sings, "we'll just take a long walk in the park/can't be far cause I can hear dogs bark/I should turn back/cause I forgot my mittens," and the title track "Love Always Happens So Fast (A Real Life Drama)." Mikael Matsson, spouse of Ingela Matsson and former member of Red Sleeping Beauty and The Shermans, doubles up on keys and the organ synthesizer, which is the best thing about the music besides the ringing electric guitar riffs.

I only actually wish I'd discovered A Real Life Drama earlier in the summer, rather than a week before heading off to the rainy gloom that is London in autumn. Definitely an end-of-summer favorite.

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