Tobias Froberg: Turn Heads

Music Reviews Tobias Froberg
Tobias Froberg: Turn Heads

Previously unassuming Swede makes stab at over-the-top pop

“A Swedish massage to your ear”—those are the words that greet you at Tobias Froberg’s MySpace page, and his third full-length release works hard to exemplify this tagline. Always pleasant, often soothing and entirely innocuous, Turn Heads begins with a rollicking bit of twee pop on the appropriately titled “Blissful” and then shuffles into a series of dainty, soft-rock ballads and swirling piano-pop epics that threaten to leave you asleep on the masseuse’s table. Having garnered resolutely positive press for the ’60s folk-pop of 2006’s Somewhere in the City, here the shaggy Swede trades Paul Simon for Paul McCartney and inherits a generation of ’70s singer/songwriter clichés in the process. To his credit, Froberg carries it amazingly well, as very few songwriters are so adept at creating lushly orchestrated arrangements and swooning multi-part harmonies. But, despite his winning way with melody, he’s often just too ordinary, and his tendency toward easy rhymes and heartsick hooks extinguishes the subversive spark that separates the great singer/songwriters from the merely good.

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