Track Title. 1 Kristallen. 2 Askan. 3 Juni Ber Ttar. 4 Barn Av En Istid. 5 Genom Sprickorna. 6 Viljan. 7 Skammen. 8 Vi Gde V Rlden. 9 Pr Rie Av Ljus. 10 Det Vackra Kriget. With their new band Det Vackra Livet, the brothers Philip and Henrik Ekstr m aren t doing anything they didn t do in their previous outfit, the Mary Onettes. On their debut self-titled album, there is still plenty of love on display for the gloomy, fog machine-obscured 80s sound of bands like Echo & the Bunnymen and New Order with banks of synths, Hook-y basslines, Phillip s melancholy and melodramatic vocals, and heavily FX d guitars cascading throughout the mix. There are a couple of changes the brothers have implemented here. The biggest difference on the surface is that the duo has turned their back on the English language in order to deliver the lyrics in their native Swedish tongue. That may seem like a bad thing to some, but really, it wouldn t matter what language Ekstr m used, his emotional delivery works regardless. More importantly, the band shows improvement over the Mary Onettes’ last album, both in the sound and in the songwriting. The arrangements are similarly huge and spacious with layers of synths, guitars, and drums filling every inch of the sound spectrum, but now there isn t the same overblown and over-worked feel the Mary Onettes sometimes fell victim to; instead, the feel is more organic and scaled to real human size instead of aiming for the back row of a stadium. It s not a huge difference, but it s enough to notice, and the new approach helps the songs connect in a real way. As for the songs themselves, almost all of them have the kind of soaring melodies and dramatic choruses you want from ’80s-inspired bands. Mostly midtempo and dramatic, they have a grace and flow that transmit a mood of theatrical sadness almost perfectly. There are even a few tracks like Juni Ber ttar and Askan that are made for dancing (by yourself, with tears).