CD Review
Sven-Erik Seaholm

By Tommy Hough, Staff Writer
©Copyright 2021 Hough

Wow, this is an absolute labor of love, and if you aren't immediately taken with this lovingly crafted ode to everything right about rock music and great pop songwriting, I'm not sure what you're doing at this Web site at all. Sure, Sven-Erik is filtering a lifetime of good taste and great records back through his own wonderfully melodic sensibilities and sense of craft, but when's the last time a guy this multi-talented came along with the songs and creativity to match his way around the recording studio since Todd Rundgren?

I'm really not trying to gush, but as a fan of the Beatles and everything that happened because of them, it's hard not to love a guy who comes on with so much charm, cheer, irony, licks and melody. Sven-Erik's been around San Diego for years, so this record should come as no surprise to those that love him and have worked with him (including lowcloudcover and Waterline Drift), but go Sven go.

Though Seaholm essentially produced, recorded and put the whole magilla together himself with a crew of musician friends at his "suburbohemian" Wonderment of Wires Studios, this is not labored music. It's as spontaneous as the best music that influenced Sven-Erik and his players, with a myriad of tight instrumentation and tasty surprises packed into each song: the hardest-working horns on "Hindsight," the Dave Edmunds steel guitarisms that kick off (and the dreamy, creamy trance that closes) the fabulously appropriate "Modern Times," the mysteriously resigned melody of "Onward and Upward" that blossoms into an ascending chorus, the gently pumping keyboard surprises and chewy guitars on "Sister Mary Jane," and that surprise cover of Badfinger's 1970 hit (and perfect song) "No Matter What". What's not to like?

"Fashion Can Wait" is laid-back Revolver, Sven-Erik kicks off the set by inviting the listener in with the earnest "song," waits his turn to talk on "Listening" with a whistle borrowed from the Association and lays, lays, lays it down on "Wicked Little Town" while Gustavo Peraza's steady drums anchor "River Opens Wide" with wahing guitars and general environs that create an expanse worthy of mile-wide New Zealand river beds.

Rain is a wonderful thing, but Upload will make the clouds go away if necessary. Get happy, and get Sven-Erik. That music like this is a novelty instead of the norm is a sad commentary on the taste and mood of the record buying (buying?) public, and any song as sharply ironic as "Shadytown" deserves to be a big, fat hit. Remember, that's not just a heart-shaped box of chocolates Sven-Erik Seaholm is holding on the back cover of Upload, that's what Lou Reed calls a Rock and Roll Heart...delivered with love, craft, and melody.

Learn more about Sven-Erik Seaholm