In the four years since their last album, Happy To You, the members of Swedish/American pop trio Miike Snow have distracted themselves with solo albums, mainstream pop production and EDM side projects. They’ve come back with a drive to reinvent themselves, and the results bring them closer to a chart pop sound while also going in some stranger and more aggressive directions.
They seem much more influenced by mainstream hip-hop and much less by house music – that’s the biggest shift. Their classic pop tendencies are also more prominent now, featuring big piano hooks combined with Andrew Wyatt’s relaxed croon for many festival singalong moments.
As accessible as most of it is, though, the band can’t seem to resist throwing strange electronic sounds and off-kilter ideas into the mix, which helps offset some of their blander tendencies. Guest appearances by Run the Jewels and Charli XCX make for the most adventurous tracks, which suggests they haven’t quite worked through their mid-career identity crisis yet.
Top track: For U (featuring Charli XCX)
Miike Snow play the Danforth Music Hall on May 31 and June 1. See listing.