Review - Wintersongs

Artist: Triakel

Oh, those Swedish meatballs: ABBA, Ace of Base and now Triakel. "Triakel are winter people and enthusiastic Christmas celebrants," detail the liner notes to this Swedish acoustic trio's wispy winter offering. And it's all as unnervingly irony-free as that.

Primarily utilizing the harmonium and the fiddle in their traditional minimalism, Triakel do a fair job of capturing some late-night, bear-rug cuddle for the new-age set -- but it would be hard not to, considering the simplicity of long notes and slight yodeling.

Not strictly a Christmas album, "Wintersongs" is an attempt at capturing the spirit of a full season in a small country. Ultimately, though, it's more a solemn lull than a celebration. Present, perhaps not surprisingly, is ABBA's Benny Andersson, who crafts what is termed a "newly written millennium hymn" in the form of "The Silence of the Dawn." Only, it shares the exact same loping progressions and Nordic chirp as every other song here, a fact that renders "Wintersongs" by record's end little more than a Swedish snore.