Happy Up Here
Label: Parlophone (France)
Tired of watching the pop accolades go to their neighbors in Sweden, Norway's Royksopp push the tempo and toughen their beats, turning Melody A.M.'s roly-poly baubles into diamond-hard, laser-focused songs built atop throbbing disco arpeggios and electro beats. Clearly they're not protectionists: Swedish divas Robyn, Lykke Li and the Knife's Karin Dreijer Andersson all take star turns on the album's most gregarious tracks. Anneli Drecker, of Norwegian cult faves Bel Canto, lends an ethereal gravitas to the rest, rounding out an album that suggests new depths under pop's glossy surfaces.