Shine 2009: Realism (Cascine) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Friday, February 3rd, 2023  

Shine 2009



Jun 30, 2011 Shine 2009 Bookmark and Share

Shine 2009 is a walking anachronism. Then again, with a name two years behind the times, this isn’t much of a surprise. Over the course of their nine-song debut LP, Finnish duo Sami Suova and Mikko Pykäri don’t attempt to revisit the recently experienced aughts—as they’re too busy reviving the 1990s in full force. Containing a decade’s worth of Saint Etienne dance parties experienced through a lens smeared with Scandinavian melancholy, Realism isn’t so much as a revelation as it is a well-crafted appropriation.

Perhaps the band’s greatest statement of purpose comes courtesy of “So Free”—featuring the time capsule-ready vocals of Paula Abdul. Sure her inclusion is about as subtle as a Members Only jacket stained with TaB, but with a sound snatched out of Abdul’s own playbook (complete with a stray horn guiding an army of synths) the song is a cool—somewhat lackadaisical—dance party.

Elsewhere, the retro-worshiping Scandinavians further remove themselves from the Balearic bubbles that The Tough Alliance or CEO use to convince us life’s a beach, declaring in album highlight (and previously released track) “New Rules,” “One day I woke up screaming/I had to do something.” It’s a haunting moment made even more so by the contrast of a piano-driven bridge breakdown that almost demands dancing.

While album closer “Modern Times” picks up the pace with a looped vocal riff that plays like a swirling barber’s pole, it begins to feel like one decade-trope too many in an album groaning with period-appropriate references. As a result, their catchy beats and chantable lyrics seem poised to disappear from memory with the turning of the calendar page. For the time being though, Realism is the perfect soundtrack for partying like it’s 1991. (

Author rating: 6/10

Rate this album
Average reader rating: 8/10


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.