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Slightly late here but apparently The Ark are quitting this year

06/04/2011
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And I feel quite ok about it.

The Ark are, or were, a Swedish glam rock that is probably best known internationally for their 2007 Eurovision track “The Worrying Kind”. Which isn’t really the best kind of legacy to leave, really. Earlier this year they pushed out a greatest hits compilation and now I’ve just found out that they’ve decided to call it a day after finishing the support tour for it. I don’t find myself really moved one way or the other about it – if you ask me, they’ve been going a bit downhill three or so albums, losing some track of what made them special on their first two with each one. And while albums #3 and #4 were still enjoyable, last year’s In Full Regalia was a horribly boring and painfully mediocre album that pretty much sounded like they just couldn’t be arsed to go on anymore. Fitting, really.

But the reason why I felt the urge to write anything about them was because of the first two albums. We Are The Ark and In Lust We Trust are as fantastic as their names are awful. Both shared an immensely creative colour pallette that the band used to paint fantastic anthems with humongous hooks, genuine feeling and bustling vibrancy: there was passionate energy to the albums that manifested in joyous, heartgripping songs. The cherry on top was frontman Ola Salo – not only was his lyrical pen sharp as a dagger on those first two albums (a blade that would dull terribly as time went on), full of brilliant wit, fantastic wordplay and bold attitude, but Salo was a born performer. He’s over the top and dramatic in the best possible way, breathing even more life into the songs and tightening the bond between the listener and the music. The overall result was two fantastic albums.

Albums that have a bit of a personal importance to me. “It Takes a Fool to Remain Sane” was the very first CD single I ever bought, as a result of being completely captivated by the song whenever I saw its video playing on TV. Back then I wasn’t as much of an album listener as I am now and getting the single seemed like the logical thing to do. I played that damn thing over and over, and to this day the song itself is one of my favourite songs ever made. I enjoyed the subsequent singles that kept appearing but it took ages for me to actually pick up an album: eventually, In Lust We Trust made its way from a record store’s mid-price section to my collection that had only recently began its life. The first two The Ark albums were two of the earliest albums I got back when I had only begun to become a music-obsessive. You can understand there’s some wonderful memories and nostalgia related to those two albums.

But really, even when stripped away from all the personal faffle they are still two marvelous rock albums full of lush ideas and driving passion to push those ideas into chords and notes. While the band became a paler and paler version of their former glory with each passing album (State of The Ark is an odd style switch but still carries great songs, Prayer for the Weekend had its fun moments but very little depth, and In Full Regalia is just plain weak), there’s always going to be a part of me that carries some special feelings towards them because of those first two albums full of classic tracks that never fail to make me feel awesome.

Anyway yeah, this ramble has little point to it but that’s what this blog’s for – my random thoughts about things.

Some more vids behind the cut.



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