JOSEF MELIN – Prepare For Y2K (2011)


JOSEF MELIN was one half of the duo Smooth Reunion, which released their critical acclaimed full length debut ‘Cleaning Up The Business’ in 2008. Now Josef is going solo with his full length debut “Prepare For Y2K”.

Born in Jönköping, Sweden, but established in Stockholm, this only 23 year-old guy with a child face is some kind of musical genius. Josef has written, performed, recorded, produced & mixed “Prepare For Y2K” in its entirety.
And all is good done, really good done.
While the Smooth Reunion project was a delicious full Steely Dan-inspired Westcoast album with jazzy touches, his solo album not only includes those elements, there are many Swedish influences in his music this time.

So “Prepare For Y2K” is an excellent mix of smooth LA Westcoast, Soul and a big portion of Steely Dan, with some Euro adult melodies.
Mainly guitarist, Melin also uses high doses of retro keyboards as mini moogs, and for a couple of songs he has a wind section as guest. Also interesting are his sardonic lyrics, narrating everyday situations with dark humor, just like Donald Fagen used to do with mastery.

Extremely easy listening tunes includes the cool numbers “Curb Your Urge”, “I’ve Sold My Soul”, “Bob Horror” and the single “Offshore Monsters”.
“Fathering Fail” has a lovely beat and a keyboard arrangement ala Gino Vanelli, then “Groceries” has an unexpected blend of 70’s as well as 2000’s sounds melted together.
The Swedish influences are present on “The Bright Side Of Life”, a song in the Eric Gadd retro style, while “Let Me Know” remind me poppy swedes Ratata and his singer Mauro Scocco solo albums.
But there’s much here to enjoy. The jazzy piano based “Snow” has tons of sensibility and class.
For the more syncopated tracks “KITT” and “Coffins, Crosses & Patients”, both sounding pretty LA scene, Josef required the services of drummer Simon Jonsson.
“I’m Coming Home” is beautiful retro westcoast-soul piece with organs and wonderful vocal harmonies.

I should say that “Prepare For Y2K” is not for everyone, but I would be wrong.
Westcoast fans will love it instantly, but Melin’s music it is recommended to any audiophile, as it has class, sensibility, charm and good vibe.
Usually, this kind of albums are recorded with a pleyade of session musicians and arrangers, in the LA style, but Josef has done all the job himself with a brilliant charm, warmness, and unpretentious ‘elite’ direction.
The other day I read a music magazine article regarding the quality of the new generation of musicians coming out of Sweden. The journalist wrote; ‘there’s something in the water in Sweden’. Not at all. They have excellent Music & Arts schools, and their applied students practice and evolve constantly. Some are really talented, as the young Josef Melin, and got their record opportunity.
Released by the small specialized label Zinc, “Prepare For Y2K” is a delight from start to finish.

01 – Uncle Don
02 – Curb Your Urge
03 – Let Me Know
04 – I’ve Sold My Soul
05 – The Bright Side Of Life
06 – Offshore Monsters
07 – KITT
08 – Fathering Fail
09 – Hanging Out At The Junegate
10 – Groceries
11 – Smoking Dutch
12 – Coffins, Crosses & Patients
13 – Bob Horror
14 – Snow
15 – I’m Coming Home

Josef Melin: Vocals, Guitar, Keys, Bass, Drums, Programming
Simon Jonsson: Drums on tracks 07 & 12, Cello on tracks 04 & 10
Ida Hammarbacken: Violin on tracks 04 & 10
Martin Svanström, Filip Kyldahl, Edvin Erkenborn: Horns


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