The Sounds – Crossing The Rubicon


foldervArtist: The Sounds
Album: Crossing the Rubicon
Genre: New Wave/Dance
Label: Original Signal

Helsingborg, Sweedens The Sounds have released their third album, Crossing the Rubicon, and like it’s predecessor, it is a good album. Crossing the Rubicon is also a very fun album. This is where almost all of the albums highlights and pitfalls stem from; this is a very fun album.

Songs such as “No One Sleeps When I’m Awake”, “Dorchester Hotel”, and “Lost in Love” all continue where 2006’s Dying To Say This To You left off, being dance tunes with bouncy, strong vocals, and great 80’s new wave-influenced instrumentation. Vocalist Maja Ivarsson’s strong voice is able to carry the songs through one of the albums weak points; the repetitiveness of Ivarsson’s lyrics. The verses and choruses generally don’t change lyrically; however, the bands instrumentals and Ivarsson’s voice pull you through to the end of the song.

“4 Songs & A Flight” and “My Lover” have beats reminiscent of Against Me!’s more dance-able songs, while channeling the energy of the Ting Tings, blending in perfectly, yet still sounding original. The Sounds have set up a very nice ‘sound’ for themselves, and have definitely become comfortable writing songs with it, but this tends to make the songs by the end of the album familiar on the first listen. This could be a turn off to someone looking for a strong, unique album, but a great sell to a casual listener looking for a consistent, fun album to dance or drive along to.

The Sounds seem to want to continue their ‘songs with a mission’, with “Beatbox” sounding like a jab at the music industry and “Underground” begins with a possible attack on the current musical scene. As well, “Only Ones” takes a look at how violence in our society has risen in recent times; however, due to the dancey, repetitive nature of the songs, the themes on these songs ring a little hollow. On the title track and the album closer, “Goodnight Freedy”, take stabs at a darker, more serious musical approach, but these only serve to bring down the fun aspect the rest of the album excels at keeping up. Worst of all, “Goodnight Freedy” follows what would have been a perfect album closer, “Home Is Where The Heart Is”. You can almost see the credits rolling with this song playing behind it at the end of the big summer blockbuster this year. It’s a cheesy song, the lyrics are a little trite, but the whole ordeal comes together so nicely because it seems so honest. The song, start to finish, picks up momentum and takes the album to the highest point it reaches. It is a standout track on the album.

So is Crossing The Rubicon an amazing, groundbreaking album? No, but it is a really fun album. Is Crossing The Rubicon a bad album? Definitely not, it’s a really fun album, and definitely worth a listen, especially with summer just beginning. It’s the most fun album you’ll buy all summer.

Score: 7.5/10

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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  • This is such an awesome album, and I usually dont buy CDs…The Sounds totally rock and these new songs are amazing. My favs are “My Lover” “Beatbox” “Midnight Song” and the new single “No One Sleeps When I’m Awake”! All the songs are sweet and strong and have their own sounds to them. :) Buy it!!!

  • Monique O’Toole

    Overall it is a good review, but it doesn’t seem like this guy really gets it, or them at all for that matter.
    “So is Crossing The Rubicon and amazing, groundbreaking album?” YES YES AND YES!!

  • Lori

    I think the album is pretty amazing myself, I can’t stop listening to it myself. I would definitely recommend this album to anyone just wanting to have ‘fun’

  • ellespea

    this album is soo fun to listen and dance along to…i love it just as much as the first two albums….i love all the songs but “beatbox” really gets me going….the sounds are sooo awesome!

  • Jessica B.

    “It’s the most fun album you’ll buy all summer” This is definitely one of the best albums i’ll buy this summer…so fun and upbeat. The Sounds did a great job with it and it also sounds a bit different from their other 2 albums…its good and hope to see them out there on tour after this tour. I love the song “Beatbox” and “Lost in Love” very awesome songs!

  • Stephanie

    Crossing the Rubicon was a big success! It makes you wanna dance and sing along to the up beat lyrics. Maja’s voice is amazing. I give this album an A++++++! Both lyrics and music were perfect! The Sounds never loose their unique sound!

  • caroline

    i really love the album and ive been listening to it since i got it 2 days ago
    cant wait to see them live again

  • Bridgette

    This album is SO much fun! I’ve been listening to it non-stop since i bought it. There are so many great songs from this album. “4 Songs & a Fight”, “Midnight Sun” and “Crossing the Rubicon” are my favs!!

  • Danielle Carlson

    The review is ok but this is what the sounds i think aim for. they want to give their listeners something that they can dance and enjoy not have songs with deep meaning that stimulate discussion. I love the new album and cant get the catchy tunes out of my head.

  • Okay so, this album is the best one The Sounds have ever made. I finally found a CD I can listen to all the way through and love every tune I hear! However, all of their albums have been that way for me! I just saw them live and they signed their new CD for me which made it that much cooler to have. They were extremely nice, finally a band that has some respect for their fans! 10/10 stars from me!

  • I agree with this review, this album is really fun and really strong!!! I can’t stop listening “Beatbox”, “Dorchester Hotel”, “No One Sleeps When I’m Awake”… all songs have the BEAT! and I’ll repeat that this is the best album of the year!!! The Sounds is an amazing band!!!

    BUY IT! :D

  • Bryan “Myofusion” D

    Well written review…. The sounds have taken their songs and lyrics to new places through this album. Fantastic album that will NOT disappoint the long standing followers or the new comers to The Sounds.

  • One of the greatest Albums they ever produced.
    Full oy energy and good vibrations.
    Exspecally with songs like “Beatbox” or “Midnight Sun” !
    Buy it!

  • Crossing the Rubicon is definately a strong album for The Sounds’ music portfolio. If you loved The Sounds previous albums, you’ll love this album. Its ashame more people don’t know who they are. They are constantly on tour, killing to EVERY performance. If you get the chance to see them on tour, DO IT! Its love and first sight, and sound.

    Standouts for me are Midnight Sun, Dorchester Hotel and My Lover. There is nothing drab or lame about this album. Their lyrics may not provoke hours of deep thought and rocket-science equations, but it hits home, completely relateable to any human, and comes complete with a vivid, no questions asked, unquestionably “The Sounds” style.

    Great album, its worth the $7.99 or $9.99 to buy 10 fold.

  • StevenMatthew

    All I can say is…
    Absolutely AMAZING CD.
    I really hate when reviewers brush the release off,
    Saying it’s nothing but “fun dance tracks”.
    While that may be true,
    Take a look at the lyrics & read alittle deeper into them.
    For example – “My Lover”:
    Everyone thinks it’s “I know you wanna be my lover”,
    When in fact it’s actually “I know you wanna beat my lover”.
    Much darker than most people realize.
    Read the lyrics in the booklet,
    & you will realize that “Crossing The Rubicon” is much deeper than a “party” album.

  • Kimmy

    i love the album and i think it was a great success. Everything from the music to the lyrics, it’s all awesome. Darker than the other 2 albums, but change is sometimes good. amazing cd :)

  • jenna

    what is this guy talking about?! this is the best album i’ve bought all summer! he did get one thing right…home is where your heart is is a standout track

  • Lety

    An ok review. I mean everyone is entitled to their opinion. I for one think this is the most amazing album to have come out in a while and every single song on it is great.The wait was well worth it :)

  • leiauealla

    Waiting for new The Sounds material can make you gassy and antsy in the pants. So listening to Crossing The Rubicon for the first time was a rush of orgasmic ear excitement. It’s like a juicy, summer peach delight!

  • Andrea

    The reviewer doesn’t seem to get the concept of the album, or the band itself, and someone who blasts a songwriter’s lyrics as “repetitive” should really proof-read his own review before publishing …

    That said, the album is fantastic; the best work the band has put out by far! Listeners can tell that the band put their heart and soul into this effort, all while managing to keep the funk and sick beats that they’re so well known for.

  • This new album is really good. I must say it’s not my complete favorite but it’s growing on me, so who knows maybe it will become my favorite.

  • Eric D

    “while channeling the energy of the Ting Tings…” the sounds came out WAY before the ting tings, so if anything the ting tings channeled energy from the sounds =]
    even though crossing the rubicon just came out, i cant wait until the sounds’ next album =D

  • Crossing the Rubicon is my favorite Sounds album at the moment. It’s a dance album, a rock album, an eighties revival album. . . and slightly political (“Only Ones”). If you’ve not listened, you need to. In fact, just buy it. If you’re one of those people who prefers a physical copy, you won’t be let down by the packaging:) Someone should do reviews on packaging. srsly.

  • Jesus

    the album is awesome
    i can’t get beatbox out of my head
    theres nothing better than listening to the sounds and this cd makes that clear

  • Tash

    I love this album so much and the reviewer didn’t seem to really get the band..if it was someone who actually knew about the sounds they would understand the album alot more. Overall a really great album..not so great review :(

  • caitie86

    This record WILL be the best of the summer!!! Its a great record from begining to end. I don’t know what the reviewer meant by a “fun” record because he obviously didn’t read the lyrics to any of the songs. This record is a must by for any music lover!!

  • Sharon

    Eh…ok review. I kind of take offense that you’re comparing them to the Ting Tings…I’m pretty sure The Sounds have been around for a lot longer than them. I only know one Ting Tings song, while I know every Sounds song…
    That said, I love this album. I think it’s absolutely amazing. I’ve been listening to it in my car nonstop. I can’t sit still while listening, it’s great to dance to. Can’t wait to see them in the Fall :)

  • kiera

    Decent review, I don’t get some of the points made though. The Ting Tings? The Sounds are way better than the Ting Tings and have been around longer. Who’s influencing who here?

    The album is a great one, it may not be for everybody but I sure love it.

  • AmyK

    I think the CD is Amazing and I recommend it to anyone and everyone!

  • The Sounds new album is amazing, upbeat, every song is great, by this album! you will not be disappointed by any means!

  • rant.

    Comparing The Sounds to The Ting Tings is ridiculous. The Sounds are obviously much more amazing and talented compared to them. However, I do agree with your last paragraph.

  • Casey Mann

    This album is really fun and I love listening to it. My Lover is really catchy and we sang it for a while in my recent road trip with my buddies. I highly recommend buying this cd! its definitely worth the money

  • Merrijoy

    As I’ve said before, The Sounds have matured in this third album from the sound itself to the lyrics. It’s amazing to watch a band grow and that’s exactly what they’ve done. And it’s still good. Crossing the Rubicon is a great album in itself. I love the sounds and will support them. :)

  • Ashley

    This album is so much fun to listen and dance along to!! Its the only thing that I have been listening to since it came out, I can’t get enough!!

  • aaron

    ok this album is totally amazing!!
    enough said!

  • Ahlen

    Could be the best review of the album I’ve read so far. I definitely agree with you when you write that it’s a very fun album. To me, this is a perfect album for a party. I though think that Goodnight Freddy is a great ending, an instrumental track should be nowhere but in the end of an album (or maybe in the beginning).

  • blacksoul818

    this is the best review of the album and the most accurate i think

  • JackieShadows

    Good review! This album screams good times, dancing, and fun. I’m glad to have Crossing the Rubicon in my CD collection. I bought 5 CD’s this month and the second I got this album I neglected those. I haven’t even took the time to play some of the others because i’m obsessed with this one.

  • Sebbe Z

    I sure think it’s a great album! The score should be higher than 7,5/10, it should be at least 9/10!

  • Dwn4chaos

    Crossing The Rubicon fucking rocks! Personally I think The Sounds did a great job on this albulm, “4 songs and a fight” is my favorite song on the album.The sounds are truly a amazing band and if you don’t rock Crossing The Rubicon I will hunt you down and kill your goldfish!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Christina

    “It’s the most fun album you’ll buy all summer.” I definitely agree. However, I appreciate how much the band has grown in both professionalism and musicianship. To me, that’s what makes an amazing album. I want an album that I can learn and sing the lyrics very easily, and this album gives me that.

  • tremysterio

    I love the album! Having seen them preformed live “Dorchester Hotel”, “No One Sleeps When I’m Awake”, and “Beatbox” were obvious and immediate favorites for me. I agree that “Home Is Where The Heart Is” is also a stand out track, along with “4 Songs and a Fight” it was a song I really got into on the first listen! Great soundtrack for my summer!

  • Jessica

    I agree it’s the most fun album I’ll buy all summer (and probably longer than that). I love the lyrics and my favorite song changes everyday.

  • Eric

    Good review, but I don’t think it gives the album the credit it deserves. This album felt like a fresh breath in a time when most music is starting to sound the same.

  • I couldn’t help but laugh at how often the word “fun” appears in the review – but I can’t honestly complain, because it’s pretty accurate: Crossing the Rubicon is a fun album.

    I think that James has hit it on the head – it’s not the most groundbreaking album ever, but it’s a great album and defiantly worth having. It’s great the first time, and gets better with each replay until you’re singing along with it.

  • Lovely