This is Alphabeat (International Edition, 2006) by Alphabeat
11 Apr 2022
Many of us, no doubt, have a mental list of records we go to for a pick-me-up, like a sweet fizzy juice when the office tea always tastes like dirt. Let’s be open and proud about our guilty pleasures. 2006’s This Is Alphabeat, the debut by Alphabeat, is usually on my playlist for long monotonous car journeys, making the British rain sound like tambourines and motorway tractors like a thumping bass line. Yes, this all sounds very trite, but I can’t help it. This album is a 40 minute smile factory that more people need to explore.
A 6-piece from Denmark (3 of which named Anders, which must make confusing conversations), Alphabeat created very European sounding dance-pop, and This Is Alphabeat gives us echoes of early Wham and The Pointer Sisters. Almost all the tracks are worthy of radio play, and impressively 6 of which became singles. It’s easy to hear why. Here the band show a great talent for writing stellar melodies while injecting everything with a party atmosphere. You will believe they are all best friends, and feel like a part of their club. The 2 lead singers, Anders SG and Stine Bramsen, play off each other in brilliant balance, like the male/female pairings in The Human League or The Beautiful South. This particularly shows in the songs “10,000 Nights, “Boyfriend” and “Touch Me Touching You”. The guitars and synths lock together wonderfully throughout, like a well-oiled machine having a bubble bath. The party does slump somewhat with later tracks “Rubber Boots” and “Public Image”, which lack the joy and fire of the rest of the album; it certainly doesn’t help that Bramsen is absent in these tracks, making them sound like another band entirely. Its a relief that it all ends on a high with “Nothing but My Baby”. In all, a pure delight that does not get old, even after hundreds of listens.