Album Review: The Raveonettes’ “Observator”

Posted on: September 5th, 2012 at 11:23 am by

This image has been archived or removed.

The Raveonettes take a slightly different turn for the torment with their sixth studio release, Observator. This time, the Danish duo’s normally dark lyrics and dingy guitar noise from albums of yore ride quietly in the backseat down a road of desperation and have nots. Sune Rose Wagner says of the record that “it’s like a heavenly dream that you slowly realize is actually taking place in hell.” Agreed.  Love can be quite cruel.

Observator introduces keys to the Raveonettes musical equation. The piano flows freely, offsetting the vintage fuzz to create depth with its yearning melodies. The album mostly sticks to simple beats and verse chorus verse, and a significant influence by The Doors (Sune was listening to them for a good stretch, and they recorded at the same LA studio as Jim and co).  Sharin Foo explores her vocal range, occasionally straying from her sugary smoothness to project a sound that might come from Stina Nordenstam’s pipes (see “Curse The Night”).  It may be difficult for the untrained ear to distinguish the changes the Danish duo have made, but those well-versed in Raveonettes will surely notice a shift. Worry not: their distorted oldies vibe is still ever-present and ever-wonderful.

This image has been archived or removed.


Though many Raveonettes songs are soaked in Big Apple references, Observator is geographically vague. There’s a lone Lower East Side mention in “She Owns The Streets.” It’s about a seemingly crazy lady dancing around cabs on the Bowery (have you seen her?), but reminds us when it comes to circumstances that we should never assume, because it makes the proverbial ass out of you and me.

The Raveonettes usually have vivid lyrics, but this time they are gripping because of their simplicity (such as the lyric “I love you way too much” in their kick off track “Young and Cold”).  It’s how the words and their delivery align with the disquieting notes that put this album close to the magic that was their sophomore release Pretty in Black (interestingly enough, the producer from that album has rejoined them for Observator).  It’s fetching in its bleakness.

The record drops September 11, and you can catch them at Webster Hall October 5. Meantime, check the video below and note all the Lower East Side nabe-checking…


Recent Stories

The Bizarre ‘Mumming’ History of Thanksgiving Masking

What follows is a reworking of a post originally published on Bowery Boogie in 2014. There was once a time when Thanksgiving customs more resembled Halloween masquerading than traditional turkey and history lessons. That’s right. So get out your masks, people! Thanksgivoween is upon us. Two key words: masking and mumming. To surmise thousands of […]

Children’s Magical Garden Files Lawsuit Against Developer Over Alleged Intimidation Tactics

The Children’s Magical Garden on Stanton Street is again battling its longtime nemesis, owner-developer of the neighboring parcel, The Horizon Group. Garden advocates led by Kate Temple-West filed a civil rights lawsuit Monday in New York State Supreme Court alleging that principal David Marom, who purchased the adjacent lot from Serge Hoyda in 2013, engaged […]

Pregnant Woman Shot by Parolee Boyfriend on LES Dies

A pregnant woman shot by her parolee boyfriend earlier this month died of her injuries last Thursday. The 27-year-old victim, who was about three months pregnant with the gunman’s baby, had been on life support since the November 11 incident, according to published reports. As previously reported, the perp – Bronx resident Dennis Fredricks, a […]

30-Story Tower at Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Site Takes its Spot in LES Skyline

It’s not enough to have Essex Crossing dominate the Lower East Side skyline around Delancey Street. Now, another. The hulking tower rising from the literal ashes of Beth Hamedrash Hagadol is already halfway to the top, currently sitting at a healthy fifteen stories. This much after the better part of a year under construction. As […]

Uncapped: CAINE ONE Forever

Hey Boogie faithful! Guest writer, Freddy Alva, joins us again to go beneath the paint with us at Uncapped. The following is a stylized excerpt from the Queens Graffiti Legend’s Black Book containing interviews with LADY PINK, ROGER, Martha Cooper, FREEDOM, NOTCH 56, JIMMY 131, ZAR, PHANTOM and CAINE, childhood friend Eileen Galindo. Head over here […]