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John Dahlbäck Winners & Fools

  • Words: Tony Ware
  • Label: Pickadoll Music
  • XLR8R Rating: 6.5/10

Following several releases saturated with artillery imagery, prolific Swedish DJ/producer John Dahlbäck brandishes this fourth full-length (including one mix showcasing his Pickadoll label). But from the sound of things, Dahlbäck’s got a fistful of Skittles more than bullets; synth lines rife with portamento streak the first formal cut, “Gold and Fear,” like candy shells do a sweaty palm. Aggressive is not an adjective appropriate for this release, unless the description is to be aggressively poppy. Whereas 2005’s Shades of a Shadow showcased his deep tech-house side, and the subsequent Man From the Fall on the jittery prog tip, this album skews unabashedly commercial (“Sidewalk,” “World of Love”) next to waxy big-room tracks (“Honeywell,” “I Had a Feeling”). This is Dahlbäck at his most unctuous and rambunctious.

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