The Swedish-American pop trio, Miike Snow, has done it again. Their newest album release, “iii” (named this because -- you guessed it -- it’s their third studio recording) contains synth-pop tunes similar to those of their previous albums, “Miike Snow” and “Happy to You.” Yet, “iii” may arguably be the best album the group has produced thus far.
The album is simply refreshing, and even though each of the eleven songs is unique, the album as a whole flows in a fluid manner. Transitions between tracks are carefully placed. Each track, especially “Genghis Khan,” “For U” and “Lonely Life,” have an apparent and strongly influential backbeats, piano riffs, and a pop-techno style that is sure to stick in your head. The album together works as a whole, yet each song individually can work as its own single too.
“Genghis Khan,” the album’s single before its initial release, had immediate success with the public. Recognized on most current pop playlists (especially those generated by music streaming service, Spotify), Indie top-ten lists, and even on FM indie rock radio stations, “Genghis Khan” is surely one of the band’s most popular songs to date due to its catchy nature. The song is much like the other tracks on the record, but what separates “Genghis Khan” from the rest of the tracks is the song’s cunning and unique lyrics. Rarely before has there been a hit that compares love, longing, and selfishness to one of the world’s most feared yet respected dictators, or much less historical figures in general. The music video for “Genghis Khan” is also wonderful, as the plot revolves around the world of a James Bond-esque villain and his internal conflict to kill the "good guy." You can check it out here.
Two of Miike Snow's members, Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg, are very influential in the music world -- as producers for many Swedish and American artists, they are responsible for many hits, including most of Britney Spears' most famous songs from her later career. Therefore, it is not surprise that they, along with frontman Andrew Wyatt, continue to produce album after album of catchy pop-synth tunes. It is clear that Miike Snow has a formula they have perfected.
A critique of the record, though, is that it is definitely possible for Miike Snow to branch out of its style a bit more lyrically. "Genghis Khan" contains brilliant lyrics, and although the other songs are indeed catchy, they lack of bit of lyrical inventiveness. The songs are mostly about love and relationships; Miike Snow has the potential to expand on this on topic and be lyrically creative. They have the inventive band members, and now the members just need to utilize the artistry that is clearly seen in the instrumentals in order to create meaningful and unique lyrics. Hopefully this will be seen on their next album.
All in all, the album is still impressive, despite this one critique. Sticking to Miike Snow's jubilant catchy pop nature, all of the songs have the potential to become hits. "iii" most definitely lives up to the band's two other albums.
Miike Snow's "iii" is 8/10.