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White Magic (2010)

Artist: Ceo
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Learn more about White Magic:

Format: CD
Sku: 216818199
UPC: 602527422039
UPC 14: 00602527422039
Release Date: 7/26/2010
See more in Pop

Song Listing

Disc 1
Song Title
1. All Around
2. Illuminata
3. Love and Do What You Will
4. White Magic
5. Oh God, Oh Dear
6. No Mercy
7. Come With Me
8. Den Blomsterid Nu Kommer
 

Album Notes and Credits


Notes & Personnel Info
Muze PNote ceo is Eric Berglund, one half of the Tough Alliance and co-CEO of Gothenburg's Sincerely Yours label; his first solo venture is another clear winner from that inscrutable but highly dependable camp. While its brightly colorful melting pot of indie pop, ersatz tropicalia, chintzy new age, and electronic dance-pop doesn't stray far from the distinctive, neon-hued sound of TTA, White Magic feels tighter, lusher, and more polished (especially vocally) than most of the duo's output, with an earnest, romantic emotional outlook far from TTA's typically enigmatic, performative sneering. Berglund wastes no time announcing his ambitions here, starting with the swaying orchestral expanse of "All Around," over which he declares: "I'm coming home to face the demons on my own." It's a grand opening statement, but it's only one part of the ceo equation: alongside weightier material like the ruminative "Oh God Oh Dear" and a solemn, churchy rendition of "Den Blomstertid Nu Kommer" (a hymnlike ode to summertime that's traditionally sung at the close of the Swedish school year) that ends the album with the same string figures that opened it, the balance of White Magic's eight tracks consists of cheerfully melodic dance-pop. "Illuminata" and "Love and Do What You Will," in particular, are about as buoyant as they come, and "Come with Me" is widescreen Balearic pop at its glistening, tuneful best. The title track shades slightly darker, with its vaguely sinister, pulsing tribal techno punctuated by jungle noises, steely guitar flourishes, and percolating pan flutes, while TTA's recurrent hip-hop-inflected fascination with violence rears its head on the otherwise blithe-sounding "No Mercy" with an excellently deployed knife-sharpening sample (the song also features offhand lyrical references to bondage, incarceration, and smoking crack). Without shortchanging Berglund's melodic abilities and his knack for sharp, effective mood juxtapositions, ceo's greatest attribute is his fearlessly inventive, highly detailed approach to arrangement, bringing together an unpredictable assortment of sounds on nearly every track, and somehow making these largely synthetic productions feel dynamic and vibrantly alive. Phil Spector and Brian Wilson come to mind -- the baroque strings and clip-clop percussion of "Oh God Oh Dear," specifically, suggest discreet nods to each -- and, indeed, pace Wilson, the whole affair might be aptly summed up as a "quarter-life symphony to God." At under 30 minutes, White Magic could feel painfully brief, but it's so dense with creativity, melody, and life that it seems churlish to want more. ~ K. Ross Hoffman

Associated Artists and Works

C.E.O.
Wonderland ~ C.E.O.

Technical Info

Music Release Date Release Date : 10/11/2010
Music Original Release Date Original Release Date : 2010
Music CatalogId Catalog ID : MODCD 127
Music Label Name Label : Modular Recordings
Music Number of Discs Number of Discs : 1
Music Studio or Live Studio/Live : Studio
Music Mono or Stereo Mono/Stereo : Stereo
Music SPAR code SPAR Code : n/a
Music UPC UPC : 00602527422039

Professional Reviews

Uncut (magazine)
(p.83)
- 3 stars out of 5 -- "[A]n alluring debut that frequently impresses...Ceo appears to be on top of things."

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