First THE EDITORS channel vintage New Order and now THE MARY ONETTES have jettisoned their love for the Jesus and Mary Chain for a keyboard and reverb fest that harkens back to The Cure, Echo and the Bunnymen and others from that era. The swedish band's latest, "Islands", has a distinct pop feel that is also echoes fellow Swedes The Shout Out Louds. "Puzzles" has a great synth hook as part of it's chorus and a nice string section working in the background. The sunnier outlook on this record is tempered a bit since the lyrics still speak of love lost and bygone times of happiness. I just can't get over the keyboard lines that run throughout the album and how much they remind me of other sounds I grew up with. It's as if the band had "Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me" on in the recording studio as they made this record. "The Disappearance of Youth" has a nice acoustic shuffle as lead singer Philip Ekstroms reveals his coming to terms with his advancement in age and the changes it brings to his relationships. For a band that I was quick to dismiss a couple of years ago as another fad band, they have developed depth. It would be nice to see them combine the two influences from their first couple of records into something truly original. But at least they are making some interesting music worth checking out.