Of Monsters and Men came out of Iceland about a decade ago, a new generation of alt-folk collective with debut My Head Is Animal (QRO review). That and 2015’s Beneath the Skin (QRO review) highlighted the group’s power, in both light and dark. For Fever Dream, the Icelanders have shifted to today’s popular more synthetic sound for a record that is still enjoyable, if not as deep.
A big, bold uplift starts Fever with single “Alligator” and largely never lets up. yes, there are sadder & slower moments such as “Under a Dome” and “Waiting For the Snow”, but even the sadness of “Róróró” is bright. Pieces like “Alligator” and closer “Soothsayer” have a shiny shine, “Wild Roses” like Florence & The Machine, but less sustain. It is all done better on “Wars”, but “Vulture, Vulture” is the band basically going disco-dance in their uplift.
Lead Singer Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir shifted from writing songs on acoustic guitar to keyboards for Fever Dream, and it shows. It’s a record that can move you while you listen, but doesn’t have the carrying or revelatory power of previous releases.