The Night Flight Orchestra, not to be confused with the Trans-Siberian, Electric Light or Unknown Mortal Orchestras, have put out four albums since 2012. You’d never know that by listening to them. This album sits comfortably in the year 1987, complete with MTV sheen, machine-like drums and enough sparkle to tease down the most high-flying hairstyle. You almost expect Olivia Newton-John to come out and tell you “Let’s Get Physical.”
For some, this is a dream come true. The Night Flight Orchestra’s immunity to trends will be their highest selling point to most people. If you still can’t get enough of your old dance mix, consider adding “Paralyzed” and “Speedwagon” alongside “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” and “Every Breath You Take.” They’ll fit right in. On single “Lovers In The Rain” in particular, you can almost hear the silver confetti cascading behind Bjorn Strid as he dramatically belts “I won’t let go! Tomorrow never knows!” It’s just so overproduced and schmaltzy that you can’t help smile at the camp factor of it all.
There seems to be a trend in Euro-pop recently, especially of the Scandinavian variety, to copy the American pop trends of 30 years ago. Maybe this shouldn’t be so surprising. Sweden is, of course, the country that gave us ABBA, who The Night Flight Orchestra are heavily indebted to. They haven’t quite reached that level of synth-pop yet, but they’re much closer to that then they are to anything rock n’ roll.
What’s so refreshing is that The Night Flight Orchestra seem happily at ease with this fact. Power anthems like “Can’t Be That Bad” ruled the airwaves for half a decade for a reason. And the band practically fall over themselves in their eagerness to grab onto it. They’ve got the moves, the sound and the image their heroes set in stone, and they’ve even got the catchy hooks to go with it.
In even slightly less capable hands, Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough could have been an unmitigated disaster of stale ideas. But The Night Flight Orchestra pull it off on sheer charm alone. The album is so unpretentious that the overall feeling is “take it or leave it.” The 80s party will go on with or without you.
Written by Max Morin
*edited by Mike Milito