El Perro del Mar (The Sea Dog) is the nom de musique of Sarah Assbring, a Swedish pop thrush whose recordings are glorious aural confections that combine Brill Building pop and the influences of Brian Wilson, Burt Bacharach, and Smokey Robinson with lyrics that speak with a sweet, ineffable sadness of the pitfalls of love and life. Look! It's El Perro del Mar! (2005) compiled her early singles and EPs. The albums El Perro del Mar (2006), From the Valley to the Stars (2008), and Love Is Not Pop (2009) -- inspired by disco and modern club sounds without sacrificing the warmth and drama she had become known for -- followed. ~ Mark Deming
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