For those who stopped following the career of Peter Bjorn and John after their 2006 indie hit “Young Folks” — so, most of us — it might be a surprise to hear that the Stockholm trio have made dependably solid albums over the past decade-and-a-half.
That’s why it’s unfortunate that the PB&J’s ninth LP, Endless Dream, stands as the band’s real first disappointment. Recorded quickly after the release of 2018’s celebrated back-to-basics Darker Days, it attempts to keep the momentum going, laying down ten tracks live-off-the-floor. But tracks like the disco-thumper “Reason to Be Reasonable” and the buoyant “Out of Nowhere” sound like the band had a vision of how the songs should sound before properly fleshing out any practical ideas.
Even tracks that try to stretch the blueprint, like the moody, lethargic “Drama King” and the stripped-down, jazzy “Idiosyncrasy” come off as listless and unimaginative. The fact that each member of the band produced their own tracks comes off like a harbinger to why Endless Dream simply doesn’t work, ostensibly ending Peter Bjorn and John’s secret winning streak. (Ingrid)