The Arrogants – Your Simple Beauty

The Arrogants
Your Simple Beauty

It sounds strange to say it now, but one of my favorite albums a few years back was the Cranberries first album, Everyone Else is Doing It So Why Can’t We? Songs like “Dreams” and “Linger” were different to me, just soft, pretty, dreamy songs with pretty vocals and lovely soft rhythms. The Arrogants remind me quite a bit of the Cranberries in that period, and that’s a wonderful thing.

While the Cranberries sped things up a bit on a few songs, The Arrogants are content to keep to a slow, soft pace. This album is just the sweetest pop music you’ve ever heard, with gorgeous vocals from Jana Wittren. There’s a lot of keyboards here, generally used in the background, and the band combines acoustic guitar with Wittren’s beautiful voice for some achingly lovely songs.

“Let You Down” is a good example of The Arrogants. It’s so soft and pretty, you can get lost in it. It’s incredibly soft guitar, barely-hit drums, and keyboards with beautiful female vocals and soft male backing vocals. It’s so sweet, pure shoegazey pop, I couldn’t imagine anyone not falling in love with this song and this band. Wittren sings with Joyd McFerson for a beautiful harmony on “Smile Lines,” a song with some more bass and drums and a soft echo quality. “There’s something in your smile that sends shivers down my spine and drives me wild,” Wittren and McFerson sing. “Lovesick” is a much more upbeat and bouncy, and Wittren’s voice takes on a playful quality. “Will You Notice When I’m Gone” is a very sad and heartfelt song. “Nothing Good Will Ever Come of This” is perhaps my favorite song, with some beautiful piano mixed with the guitars and soft drums and Wittran’s “ba-ba-da-ba.” And then, for some reason, there’s another similar version of “Nothing Good Will Ever Come of This,” stripped down a bit, without the drums, with more acoustic guitar, and more synthesizer backing. It’s a little too similar to be included, I would think, but it’s just as pretty. Don’t stop yet, cuz there’s an even more stripped down version of “Lovesick,” just Wittren accompanied by an acoustic guitar, sounding as if it was recorded in a big room and ending with giggling. It’s ok to include this one, it’s perfect.

So, yes, The Arrogants do sound like the Cranberries from their first album at times. But that’s a lovely thing. There are differences, Wittren’s accent-less voice, the male/female accompaniments, the use of more piano and keyboards. But this has that same beauty and emotion that I so loved on that Cranberries album. It’s the sweetest and loveliest shoegazey pop. Unfortunately, it’s too short. But don’t worry, it doesn’t get old. Just hit repeat and close your eyes and sit back and smile softly.