Miike Snow's masterful second album 'Happy to You' proves that great things come to those who wait. After 3 years, their sound has only matured - making every track grander and more purposeful than even the perfection of their first release.
The sophomore release 'Happy to You' is Miike Snow's great idea evolved into a brilliant one, all the while expanding into new, uncharted territory. So many of the tracks feel familiar, but not in a way that would suggest that they're unoriginal. I've realized that listening to 'Miike Snow' actually does recall a specific mood and overall feeling now, and it was right there again when I was only a few songs into 'Happy to You'. Almost like a vacation, it's a feeling of escaping into something...different.
First singles "Devil's Work" and "Paddling Out" showcase the slightly harder side of the group's sound, and they're both excellent. There's more of a wondrous optimism (albeit bittersweet) to be found on other tracks like "The Wave", "Archipelago" and "Garden" though, which lean a bit closer to my personal tastes.
My top pick would have to be "Black Tin Box", which is ironic considering it's probably the darkest song on the album. Mysterious, dangerous and (in my opinion) incredibly sexy - guest vocalist Lykke Li doesn't distract from the already perfect proceedings. Instead, she glides in at various points between steel drums and sounds from an electronic ghost house, making it even better. And that chorus! I can't be the only one who can picture that over a horror/thriller trailer in the near future, right?
Coming in very close second - for completely different reasons - is without a doubt "Bavarian #1 (Say You Will)". It's just...beautiful. Heartfelt melodies, a marching-esque snare drum, and all the exciting other sounds you'd come to expect from Miike Snow. You'll smile-cry-dance like you haven't in years.
Bottom line: If you were a big fan of their first release, "Happy to You" will make you fall in love all over again. Miike Snow is definitely one of those bands that we should all be so lucky that it only took them three years to release their next album. I'll wait another three if it means that things will only get better! In the meantime, I've got two perfect records to listen to...with alarming regularity.