Day 11: Mando Diao – Give Me Fire!

Day 11: Mando Diao – Give Me Fire!

Tracklist (United States version)

  1. Blue Lining, White Trenchcoat – 4:02
  2. Dance With Somebody – 5:18
  3. Gloria – 4:17
  4. High Heels – 3:48
  5. Mean Street – 4:32
  6. Alone With Molly/In The Valley* – 8:00
  7. A Decent Life – 1:45
  8. Give Me Fire – 4:01
  9. Crystal – 6:11
  10. Come On Come On – 4:13
  11. Go Out Tonight – 4:53
  12. You Got Nothing On Me – 5:07
  13. The Shining/Leave My Fire – 3:07**
  14. Nothing Without You – 3:41
*Maybe Just Sad (4:05) is replaced by Alone With Molly/In The Valley
**Listed as 19:22 on international releases

About the Album

Give Me Fire! is the fifth studio album released by Swedish rock quintet, Mando Diao. The album was produced by the Salazar brothers (Salla and Masse) of Swedish hip hop group, the Latin Kings. The album was released in 2009 (2011 in the United States). Guitarist and singer, Björn  Dixgård says that the band has been inspired by movies and television with this album and cites Quentin Tarantino and Twin Peaks. He also says that the producers’ record collection has been a source of inspiration as well. This album is a danceable album with a strong focus on drums, bass and percussion.

Thoughts on the tracklist

This album is very danceable and has some very catchy songs. The album starts off with the very heavy “Blue Lining White Trenchcoat”; which is is pure rock and roll and was the perfect choice to begin this album.

The next three songs? Well, they are auditory gems. “Dance With Somebody” should really be played on the radio here in the States, because it’s just THAT SONG that everyone would love. It’s a great song and it really makes you WANT TO DANCE. The end of the track features a live cut from a special show at the Troubadour in 2008, at which this song and “Gloria” were first performed live.

“Gloria”, which is my second favorite song from this album, with the first being “The Shining” is the third track. There’s something really special about “Gloria” – and singer Björn’s voice really shines through with emotion. There’s a roughness that really complements the music.

“High Heels” sticks out on the album for it’s style, which is seemingly perfect for an old-school cabaret. It is truly brilliant and Gustaf has outdone himself with the vocals on this track.

Track 13 on the American release, “The Shining” is my personal favorite. “The Shining” seems to really highlight a Latin influence on the band. It’s got a big band sound and is a great, danceable song. There’s a hidden track (“Leave Me Fire) which probably serves best to show how fun this band is: you get to hear the guys singing in Spanish – which the guys seem to be really good at. It’s an adorable addition to the song.

Other Highlights: “You Got Nothing On Me” brings the energy to where most albums lost it… the end of the album. It brings the energy and gets me pumped up. Which is probably why the band plays it live. “Go Out Tonight” features one of the coolest 30 second intros I have ever heard.

Thoughts on the album

I have to say, this Mando Diao album is different from their previous ones. It is a percussion and bass heavy album, aimed at high energy and danceability. The album is almost entirely rhythm-driven. It’s a genuine dance song in garage rock fashion. Drums are indeed the driving force behind Give Me Fire!, an album that no doubt bears the stamp of its hip-hop producers, Salla Salazar of the Latin Kings, a pioneering Stockholm rap group, with his brother Masse. The Salazar brothers’ rhythm-oriented production work on Give Me Fire! gives an exciting twist to Mando Diao’s sound.

Conclusion

I can safely say this: the Swedish quintet from Borlänge has done it again. Mando Diao has never been a band to stay stagnant with their sound, as it is always changing. “Give Me Fire!” is a perfect example of this. There is one song for every mood you can have on this CD. It is 60s, it is Rock’n Roll, it is Blues, it is Drum and Base. The two singers of the band alternate in the songs and you can choose yourself which one you like more. I won’t say this album is perfect, because it does has it’s flaws. But it is definitely one any music lover should own.

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