MONEYBROTHER walked straight into people’s hearts with his gold selling, Grammy awarded, striking debut album “Blood Panic” in 2003. Back again to fill us with his smooth soul, rock, punk and pop songs, this time around with even stronger tunes on his conscience. The new album “TO DIE ALONE” kicks off with the first single/video track “THEY’RE BUILDING WALLS AROUND US”. With its seductive string melodies and danceable sound it will leave you totally swept away. Musically 2005 could not have started better, more beautiful or catchier than this.
The first saplings stretch towards the light, the girls get rosy cheeks and spring gets into the trees, hearts and your pants – the second Moneybrother album “To Die Alone” doesn’t suit this cheesy cliché at all. And yet spring still is an appropriate release date: Everybody’s disposed to something exciting. And now you get some great expectations, great emotions, and great gestures.
Originally of punk rock fame for his vocals in Monster, in 2003 Anders Wendin took a new direction with his solo project Moneybrother: This is where he creates his custom soul orientated blend of all the music styles he likes to listen to, making moods and details from genres like reggae, rock’n’roll or even disco subliminally swing underneath. The debut “Blood Panic” has yet made success follow him around: From a Swedish Grammy to a sold-out German tour you’ll find enough reasons for great expectations concerning the second record. Meanwhile, the musician aims at his very own goals.
As you can hear, during the time between the two albums Moneybrother has developed an obsession of string arrangements. This has almost led him to overshooting the mark – he decided to rather withhold some of the songs though they had already been recorded. “All these components must be put together in the right way; you need so much for it to sound absolutely right. There are a few moments on this record that sound exactly how I wanted it. More often than on the last record.” The Swede obviously struggles hard to get close to his musical ideal. Thus, “To Die Alone” was meant to be more dramatic than the debut. Moneybrother had the possibility to act out for this demand in the most passionate way: In November 2004, the album was recorded in an old movie theatre that had been converted into a studio. Most of the music was being played live for the record, because in spite of all this string-swollen drama the whole thing was not supposed to end up as a stiff, symphonic piece. Alive, organic and direct, that’s what makes the soul of this album. Its content mainly deals with breaking up, loss and deep regret. It circles around the feeling when you realize that you made the wrong decisions.
In his accurate way the artist afterwards listed a line-up for each single song. He does not only intend to credit his musicians – but also to let you know what kind of instruments were being used. On top of that Wendin presents himself like a religious icon on the album’s cover artwork. That seems pretty bold, but it matches the Moneybrother universe. After all, the musician has invented the Moneybrother in order to use it both as a project’s name and as a fairy tale character: Moneybrother is supposed to be a big rock star, maybe even a sorcerer. “When on stage or recording, I want it to be very big and beautiful, even bigger and more beautiful than I really am.” No matter if the music makes you happy or sad, first of all things Moneybrother wants to move his audience. On their way to the stage, he often reminds the band of his claim that they are not just musicians. He demands them all to be romantics. And he wants them to create something beautiful and moving. Not involving complicated pomp, but real feelings. Moneybrother has a magnifying effect:
Music and lyrics reflect ordinary people – but larger than life.
Here are some pix from their recent show with Flogging Molly at The Tabernacle in Atlanta!
Photos by Tom Dausner