Release Date: Jun 9, 2009
Record label: Downtown
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Dance, Pop
To get the formalities out of the way, Miike Snow is not a singer/songwriter named Mike. Miike Snow isn't even a he, actually. It's an indie-electro pop trio, made up of singer Andrew Wyatt of Fires of Rome and Swedish (hence the double "i" in the name) mega producers Chris Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg, otherwise known as Bloodshy & Avant. Those familiar with Bloodshy & Avant's track record -- working with Britney Spears, Madonna, and Kylie Minogue -- will know that they're capable of making top-notch pop gloss geared for the dancefloor.
From the very first note, you know Miike Snow are Scandinavian. There’s something about the stuttering synthesizer pounding out a graciously major-key melody, with a hint of horns coming in, that is unmistakably Nordic. There’s a long line of this winning, celebratory pop with a melancholic undercurrent, running at least from Abba all the way through A-ha, Bel Canto, and the Sugarcubes; to the Cardigans, Annie, and Röyksopp.
Pity pop producers? They toil in near-anonymity, making songs that starlets ride to fame and fortune. That's why the most successful (the Neptunes, Kanye West) eventually step out on their own. This appears to be the mission of Miike Snow, a trio consisting of singer Andrew Wyatt and Swedish producers Bloodshy & Avant (Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg), who were behind Britney Spears's 2004 hit Toxic.
As producers and songwriters for pop stars like Madonna, Kylie and Sugababes, the members of Miike Snow occupy rather a rare position for a new and little known band in that their most anonymous work is also their best known. Together the two Swedish thirds of the group, Pontus Winnberg and Kristian Carlsson, comprise pop production and song-writing duo Bloodshy and Avant, who most famously co-wrote and produced Britney Spears' 'Toxic', a song much vaulted as a high-point of manufactured noughties pop. Their partner in crime is American Andrew Wyatt, who has himself assisted Mark Ronson in production duties on the debut album by Daniel Merriweather (y'know, him what was a bit irritating on that Smiths cover).
Even the most dependable producers tend to stumble when they step out from behind the curtain. Timbaland's Shock Value sold more than a milli, nothing to sneeze Creatine at, but its distillation of the hip-hop heavyweight's sci-fi primitivism still sounds more like a victory lap than an actual victory. Swizz Beatz had at least one solid artist album in him, but he's no rapper, as the wait for a follow-up underscores.