"Why is Sweden so good at Pop Music" was the title of an article published in October 2013 in the US magazine "The Atlantic". In view of the fact that Sweden is the third largest music exporter in the world, this question has its justification and can be explained, among other things, by the state-sponsored music education there, the close-knit music industry and the good English skills of the locals (90% of Swedes speak English). Last but not least, Swedish musicians seem to have a lucky hand for melodies that settle in the ear canals in no time at all - think of ABBA, Roxette, the Flower Kings or Moon Safari. The quintet A.C.T., founded in 1994, also falls into this category and with its fifth studio album "Circus Pandemonium" - the first after an eight-year break - it proves that sophisticated melodics are indispensable to keep the listeners on their toes. In addition, the band has created a story that takes place around 1900 in a circus where some curious characters live: a ruthless circus director, a frustrated clown, a talented tamer and a freak dreaming of a better future. All this is presented in a very varied way and contains various cross-references to bands like Muse ("Failed Escape Attempt"), Queen ("The End", "Look At The Freak"), Toto ("A Truly Gifted Man") and Saga (keyboarder Jim Gilmour can be heard as guest musician on one song). By the way, "Circus Pandemonium" contains not only one or two, but at least six outstanding pieces, which guarantee long-term listening pleasure thanks to the clever arrangements. Here the recommendation applies: Insert CD, lean back and enjoy - because more melody is hardly possible.
Top track: Everything's Falling