Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Idea of North

A while ago, when t.A.T.u was ascendant, I wondered aloud, “Are the former Eastern Bloc countries going to be the new factory-laboratory for immortal-yet-disposable vocal pop music? Is the Ukraine the Sweden of the new century?” But t.A.T.u seem to have faded now—and as for Sweden, she has life in her yet: the ABBA influence still looms large, wedded to a glam-rock stomp (and more hooks than Izaak Walton’s tacklebox) in The Ark’s thrilling “Echo Chamber,” which has been stuck in my head for two solid weeks now.

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