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Acid House Kings | Music Sounds Better With You | Album Review

Acid House Kings Music Sounds Better with You Vinyl

I’ve covered Acid House Kings close to ad nauseam at this point, and as I have a handful more releases, it’s going to continue a little bit longer. Prior to Music Sounds Better With You, I looked at the three LPs that preceded it. This, technically, is the band’s fifth–their debut LP is the sole one not on vinyl or in my collection. I’ve also covered a handful of singles. So let’s dig in…

Music Sounds Better With You

The History of Music Sounds Better With You

As I mentioned, today I’m looking at the band’s fifth LP, Music Sounds Better With You. Released in March of 2011, the band had originally entered the studio in 2007 to record with hopes for a 2008 release, but it got pushed back. 

According to their bio on the Labrador Records website:

“After three months and with more than half the album finished they decided to scrap it. Reason? They weren’t completely sure they would top their previous album and considered the songs too dark and not melodic enough for The Kings.”

Acid House Kings’ Portfolio Page [Labrador Records]

They returned to the studio in 2010 with fresh ideas, new inspiration, and a more upbeat mood.

Here’s my unboxing video and review of the release on the FensePost YouTube Channel:

Music Sounds Better with You Album Review

Musically, the band continued pressing their indie pop sound forward, continuing to distance themselves from their lo-fi, twee roots from the early to mid 1990s.

And, to be honest, while Music Sounds Better With You is plenty melodic, there’s still a darker element to it when compared to prior releases. But it’s still plenty upbeat and will still leave you feeling good.

Opening track “Are We Lovers Or Are We Friends?” seems is an ode to deciphering — an attempt to determine whether a person of the singer’s affection has romantic and/or sexual attractions or if it’s just a solid friendship. The song has woodwind instruments including a prominent clarinet, as well as some strings. This is true indie pop, and I am so here for it!

Along the same lines is closer “Heaven Knows I Miss Him Now”

“Windshield” opens with a chorus and a fanfare of trumpets with Julia Lanerheim taking over on lead vocals. Soft and melodic, her vocals coo with a driving, jangly guitar to back her up. The chorus features. She continues to lead the band in the upbeat “Would You Say Stop?”

When I first heard “Under Water” the more electric guitar riffs reminded me more of Johan Angergard’s solo project The Legends and his debut LP under the moniker from 2003, Up Against The Legends. Given that is among my favorite albums, I was immediately drawn to the song, and it remains among my favorites on the album.

Likewise, “Where Have We Been” has a greater darkness to it that’s delectable. On this song, I believe it’s Niklas Angergard that takes over on lead vocals. And he sings in the chorus:

Now it seems the two of us is nowhere
Caught between the devil and the sea

Lyrics from “Where Have We Been” by Acid House Kings

As found on “Where Have We Been,” there’s clever lyricism throughout the album that simply cannot be ignored. You can enjoy the music for it’s indie pop-centric vibes, but you get so much more out of it when you dig into the content. The music is great! It’s intricate and smartly crafted, composed, and mastered. The lyrics take it one step further, tying it all together in a nice neat package for your enjoyment and probably some rainy Sunday contemplation as well.

The opening line in the Labrador Records bio for Acid House Kings makes a bold claim: “Sweden’s no.1 pop band.” The bio concludes with a quote from Lannerheim herself:

Music Sounds Better with You will not re-define pop music, but it may very well define it.” 

Acid House Kings Bio [Labrador Records]

Both statements are bold. Quite bold in fact. Yes… but I’d claim they’re also very true.

Before wrapping things up, let’s look at the various version released so far, then dig into my copy on my vinyl with a quick unboxing.

Music Sounds Better With You Vinyl AHK

Versions & Unboxing Video

It was released on Labrador Records in Sweden on both CD and vinyl. There were also a handful of CDs pressed outside of Europe in Asia, Japan, Thailand, and Indonesia. This vinyl pressing is the only one as of early 2023.

Like the other Acid House Kings LPs, this one is pretty minimal. It’s just the outer sleeve jacket with no inserts and the vinyl on black wax.

In compiling this piece, I pulled knowledge and concepts from a few sites. In addition to the ones linked above, you can learn more on the Discogs page for Acid House Kings, the band’s Wikipedia page, and the Wikipedia page for Music Sounds Better with You.

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