A reflective song about an AARP father rarely turns into a hit, but Lukas Graham’s “7 Years” has defied the odds, storming the international charts. The Danish group’s tuneful second album, filled with accessible, infectious pop, is bound to follow. The band, led by reedy vocalist Lukas Graham Forchhammer, has been labeled soulful, which is true only if soul is defined by early Maroon 5. Both the hook-laden “Strip No More” and horn-peppered “Drunk in the Morning,” have all the trappings of the genre, except for actual soul. “You’re Not There” and “Take the World by Storm” display the band’s strong melodic sense, but “Mama Said” blatantly cops the melody and hook from Jay-Z’s “Hard Knock Life.” The young group veers off course with an odd penchant for nostalgia and sentimentality, turning overly earnest on “Happy Home” and overwrought with “Better Than Yourself (Criminal Mind Pt. 2).” Lukas Graham connects best when relying on pop smarts, without reaching for grand epiphanies.
ESSENTIAL “You’re Not There”
Lukas Graham performs at Brighton Music Hall May 12.Ken Capobianco can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.