He releases his second album ‘Reborn’ on January 18th, and on the same day there’ll be the single ‘Fighting The Dark’ – which has been written by Andreas Öhrn from Gravitonas along with Jon Peterson and Charlie Mason.

We were sent the album earlier today to have a listen to. But before you read our words you can have a listen to clips of each of the songs online here.

There’s a trinity of tracks that need a particular pointing out. ‘Let Go’, ‘Atomic’, and ‘So Touchable’. We say that because they’re the most instant, they’re the most poptastic – and thinking about it, either of them would have been the most suitable comeback for NEO to Melodifestivalen. A perfect follow-up to ‘Human Frontier’. ‘Let Go’ for its big schlager finish, ‘So Touchable’ for its amazing post-chorus, but most of all ‘Atomic’ – which is our favourite song on the album. Actually, lump ‘Exclusive Love’ into the same sonic category as those three too.

But on top of the potential schlager, he’s also turned out to be a dab hand at churning out a spectacular ballad. ‘Swan Song’ is EPIC stuff. Remember ‘Goodbye To The Circus’ on Aqua’s sophomore album? Well it’s a little like that in terms of theatrically dramatic impact. He’s even crow-barred in a choir that sounds like something from a more haunting Tim Burton film. Marvelous!

We enjoyed NEO’s previous album, the light disco fluff was right up our crassly lit street. But ‘Reborn’ is genuinely on a much higher level in terms of quality. It packs in variety without sounding like an in-cohesive mess. It’s mostly pop and electronica, but even when he strays into something of a rockier territory, it’s kept in line with the rest of the record thanks to the generous use of synths and big orchestral, film score strings.

And of course it also includes both of his singles from last year, ‘Underground‘ and ‘Toxicated Love‘.

The first great Scandinavian pop album of 2012!

And we have to give kudos to his record label Hitworks. A very small and independent record label – but when they release pop albums like this and Anniela’s ‘Electric’ from last year, they really do seem to produce records without even a hint of ‘filler’. Something that we wish some of the major labels would adhere to more often.


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