4 walks the line between acid-fried Hendrix noodling and amber-lit easy listening.
Calling Dungen “psychedelic” is unbecomingly reductive as of their fourth album, fittingly titled 4. The Swedish act practically throws off visible sparks with an approach that’s cinematic like the best James Bond theme—a widescreen world of sonic wonder awash in cymbals and bejeweled with crystalline drops of chiming piano. One of the best things about Dungen is its ability to walk the line between acid-fried Hendrix noodling and amber-lit easy listening without letting either personality subdue the other. The emphasis seems to be shifting to the softer side on this release, but there’s still room for those purple-haze workouts, best exemplified by wooly instrumentals on “Samtidigt 1” and its jazz-slicked companion, “Samtidigt 2.” Elsewhere, “Ingenting är sig likt” and “Fredag” reference misty Northern soul without being genre exercises. And in the end, you don’t need to understand singer Gustav Ejstes’ Swedish lyrics to be transported by 4.
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