The Scandinavian tradition of vapid, guilty-pleasure pop dates back to ABBA, and it so thoroughly dominates the prejudices of the rest of the West that the very idea of an authentic, unrefined album coming out of the land of the midnight sun seemed until recently well-nigh inconceivable. Ace of Base, the Cardigans, a-ha and Roxette are but a fraction of a legacy of fluffy pop contraptions as cheerful, inoffensive and, ultimately, as characterless as a roomful of IKEA furniture. (True, there's the Scandi death metal at the other extreme, but that's... More >>>