Charm School Revisited


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  • Returning to action after a decade-long hiatus, Roxette don't skip a beat on 2011's Charm School. Roxette were never in the thick of things, never setting the pace, but they did reflect their times during their 1988-1991 peak. They still reflect those times 20 years later, still favoring the brightly colored productions of the late `80s, still relying on cavernous drums and squealing fuzz guitars skipping over tightly wound guitar riffs, piling on synth after synth, every element accentuating their enormous hooks. Roxette may be a band out of time on Charm School but, well, that's their charm: they're still unapologetically big pop, they still celebrate melody over everything else. Sometimes things crawl just a tad on Charm School -- it's not the power ballads that sag but the chugging midtempo tunes -- but it serves up enough surging soft rock and fizzy pop like "Big Black Cadillac" and "She's Got Nothing On (But the Radio)" to make this a successful comeback. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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