Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Top 10 Holiday Hits - 2. Bodies Without Organs - Open Door (disco version)  

Unbelievably, considering they are one of my all-time favourite bands, this is the first BWO song I have posted on this site! This was their last single (before the current one, Sunshine In The Rain) and comes in 2 different versions. I presume that the ballad version came first and they couldn't stand to have a whole song that you can't dance to, so they had to make a disco version. Both versions are excellent but being a bit of a disco diva (or fan, anyway), I love this one most. A BWO UK invasion is planned for later this year which I am very much looking forward to, if only to see their videos on TV and perhaps them on UK TV as well! I've only even heard them speak English once, so it will be extremely exciting.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Top 10 Holiday Hits - 3. Darin - Stand By Me  

One of the albums I purchased during my holiday was Darin's debut, The Anthem. Darin Zanyar was a contestant on Sweden's Idol programme and released his first single, Money For Nothing, written by the super-fantastic Robyn, last year. He now has another single out, a very boyband-y ballad called Why Does It Rain. Robyn isn't the only ace person who wrote a song for Darin's album. There is also a song written by Robin Thicke, known for writing Will Young's Very Kind and for his own single (released as simply Thicke), When I Get You Alone, which was one of my favourite songs of 2003. His song is the first track, Give It To Me. However, my favourite track of the album is written by Swedish pop songwriter genius, Max Martin. Unlike the rest of his recent work, it is in the pure pop style we originally knew him for, rather than the rockier style which has been winning him huge praise and MTV awards with Kelly Clarkson. I didn't think this song was any more than "quite good" until I listened to it one evening and soon found it so lodged in my brain that I had to put the CD on again when I went to bed to listen to this track on repeat - I was addicted! It is pure, cheery, wonderful pop music - the kind I love the most. Darin will be releasing a new album in September and the first single, Step You (could be an Ayumi Hamasaki cover!), is out soon. I haven't heard it yet but I look forward to it.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Top 10 Holiday Hits - 4. Arash - Boro Boro  

The Arash song that really soundtracked my visit to Gothenburg was his latest single, Temptation, but seeing as it has been recently posted on Sounds of Sweden, I am giving you his first single, Boro Boro, from 2004. I was very surprised to like this song because most of the Asian/bhangra-rap type songs of recent years have done absolutely nothing for me, yet this one is total brilliance, showing that Swedes are truly capable of making any genre of music sound great. Boro Boro is not actually an ode to Middlesbrough football team - it really means "go away"!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Top 10 Holiday Hits - 5. Amy Diamond - Welcome To The City  

Back on with the holiday hits, and it's time for a girl who is younger than Jojo or any of S Club 8 but in Sweden she is an even bigger star. Her 2 singles so far, this one, Welcome To The City, and her debut, What's In It For Me, are never off the radio and if you didn't know you'd never guess she's only 13 (born in 1992, by which time even I was starting school) from her mature voice and sound. The songs are poppy but the lyrics are grown up - it seems strange for Amy to be singing about experiences she most probably hasn't had but on the other hand, most popstars don't sing songs about themselves, especially if they don't write their own songs, and these are such brilliant pop songs that I don't think it matters. If it makes her a bad role model, then so is every other pop star who sings about their boyfriend being rubbish, and Welcome To The City is a much more general "my view on life" type of song. It also sounds like a much acer version of Moving by Supergrass!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Andy Bell - Crazy  

I'm taking a quick half-time interval from my Top 10 Holiday Hits to pronounce Andy Bell (aka Mr Erasure) as the saviour of British pop! This, the first single from his forthcoming solo album, Electric Blue, is an incredible piece of addictive electro-pop. Unlike Goldfrapp, Kylie and many of the other great artists who make electro-pop, Andy does not concern himself with being sexy or sophisticated but simply concentrates on making a track that will send even the most cold-hearted indie fan racing to the dancefloor. Just you try and resist! It's released in the UK on 26th September, followed by the album (which features duets with Jake Shears and Claudia Brucken!) on 3rd October. Let's make it a huge hit, OK? We have a pop industry in need, and this could be the cure.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Top 10 Holiday Hits - 6. Infernal - Cheap Trick Kinda Girl  

Infernal's single From Paris To Berlin has been one of the biggest and best dance-pop hits of the past year in Europe and it is scheduled for a UK release later this year. I hope it does well because it really is fantastic. Infernal are not a one great song wonder, though - on their web site you can hear their whole album and if you have any taste at all you will agree with me that it sounds absolutely brilliant. I did plan to buy it in Sweden but failed to find it anywhere. I think it must not be out yet, in Sweden at least (they are actually Danish) - anyone know? This is one of the tracks from the album and it is a super-catchy 90s-style dance stormer. I guess it must have been a single somewhere at some point as this version is called the Radio Edit, but their web site is in Danish and only seems to have one page, so I don't really know. What I do know is, Infernal should rule the world, and once you hear this you'll know I'm right.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Top 10 Holiday Hits - 7. Bosson - Rockstar  

One of the albums I bought during my holiday was Rockstar by Bosson, and although I think my absolute favourite of his songs is still the superb I Need Love, that was a single and has been posted by Sounds Of Sweden so I thought would pick another great song from the CD and I have chosen this, the title track. It's a great fun song telling the story of a clever posh boy who wants to be a rock star. The song is, unsurprisingly, rockier than Bosson's usual but it's still pure pop. Bosson is incapable of being cool, and that is his charm. If you don't love the chorus, you do not belong here. Woohoo! Woohoo! Also brilliant is the little kid's talky bit - "give me my guitar back!"

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Top 10 Holiday Hits - 8. Helena Paparizou - The Light In Our Soul  

This is the follow-up to Helena's Eurovision winner (on behalf of Greece), the fabulous ethno-pop song "Number 1". This is a more typical Euro-dance-pop song than both that song and her usual style as a member of the Greek/Swedish pop duo Antique. "Number 1" is still one of the most popular songs on the radio across Europe and especially in Sweden, where they have embraced her victory as the closest they're likely to get to winning with the recent shift of Eurovision success towards Eastern Europe.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Top 10 Holiday Hits - 9. Christian Walz - Missin' You  

I first discovered Christian when his single Wonderchild was just becoming popular during my visit to Stockholm last year, but it wasn't until this year's trip to Goteborg that I bought his album, Paint By Numbers. It was a very difficult decision as to what to post because the album is good as a whole without any particular tracks outshining others. In the end I picked this ballad, because I wanted to post a slow song which unlike most that I like is not loud or powerful or over-emotional. It has no massive string section or super-long notes, it's just a gentle, beautiful love song.

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