Dirty Loops, ‘Loopified’ - The Buffalo News

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Dirty Loops, ‘Loopified’


Dirty Loops,Loopified” (Verve). Conventional wisdom suggests that there is music that appeals to musicians, and there is music that appeals to non-musicians in the general public, and never the twain shall meet. Such a theory makes surface sense, but is in fact intellectually lazy and inaccurate. Jazz, recall, was initially a popular music form, one that appealed to the layman and the virtuoso musician alike. And the best rock of the past 45 years or so has routinely been both musically adventurous and commercially accessible, though you might not glean as much from just a casual glance at the top of the pop charts. Enter into this perceived chasm a jaw-droppingly talented trio of young men from Sweden, who appear to be hell-bent on blurring the lines between pop appeal and the dizzying complexities of jazz harmony. Dirty Loops became an almost unwitting sensation two years back, via a You Tube interpretation of Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance.” That video, which found the three musicians – vocalist/keyboardist Jonah Nilsson, bassist Henrik Linder, drummer Aron Mellergardh – marrying Gaga’s dance-pop hooks to face-meltingly virtuosic instrumental performances and an uber-hip arrangement, went viral and eventually clocked 19 million views. Several interpretations of contemporary pop hits reimagined as in-your-face jazz-fusion tunes followed, and now, at long last, comes the US release of “Loopified,” the Loops first full-length. Rarely does a debut album arrive with such a revolutionary take on the popular music of its milieu. The Loops’ hybrid of top-tier musicianship, harmonic sophistication, and pop sensibilities is a complete game-changer, and flies in the face of the notion that music can’t be at once complex and accessible. The band gained its notoriety based on its ability to twist – or “Loopify,” in Loops parlance – pop hits, and this debut does feature radically reworked and reharmonized takes on Justin Bieber’s “Roller Coaster” and Avicii’s “Wake Me Up.” But the body of “Loopified” is comprised of Dirty Loops originals, and they are simply stunning. If Dirty Loops don’t win the “Best New Artist Grammy” next time around, there’s something seriously wrong. Outstanding and brave stuff 4 stars (Jeff Miers)

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