Shiny but shallow.

The Sounds are a five-piece band from Sweden, fronted by Maja Ivarsson and ofor a quick comparision could be described as being similar in sound to a heavier version of 80s Blondie, mid-90s The Cardigans or more recently, TheSTART. Since 2002 The Sounds have had songs featured on soundtracks such as 'Final Destination 2', 'Snakes On A Plane', 'Wedding Crashers' and 'Music + Lyrics'; and have released two albums, 'Living In America' and 'Dying To Say This To You', the latter of which features 'Painted By Numbers'.

Sadly this single release comes without a B-side and thus provides only a small sample of The Sounds', well, sounds; but it is nonetheless a happy and ear-pleasing three minutes and sixteen seconds. Electro beats dance energetically under a catchy, hook-filled tune aggressively driven along by synths and Maja's vivacious and untiring vocals; it is hard not to dance and after a few listens sing along to the refrain of "We'll all be the same tomorrow / 'Cause we've all been painted by numbers". There isn't a great deal of sophistication on offer here, but like any cheap shiny object 'Painted By Numbers' has an irresitiable charm, destined to be experienced through repeated playings until the gloss wears off and poppy joyfulness morphs from infectious to annoying.