Friday, February 29, 2008

Linda vs Charlotte


If you don't follow Melodifestivalen this is the time for you to start! This contest is about great music and this semi-final is FULL of great songs. This is like Christmas for Pop music lovers.

You can now hear one minute clips of all the songs for the next 24 hours.

Here are some thoughts:

1. Niklas Stromstedt - This song is very very retro sounding, like hippy music from the 70's. It doesn't do anything for me unfortunately. I think he's definitely out of the running with this one.

2. Calasia - A pretty song... but it has absolutely no wow factor. It's no Empty Room or For Att Du Finns. They have no chance and I think they'll be out of the competition in the first round of voting.

3. Fronda - Absolute utter crap. There is nothing I like about this song. I actually have a bit of a headache listening to it. Please let this song get voted out first away.

My prediction is that these songs will be the top 5.

5th Place - Sibel - That Is Where I'll Go: I heard a lot of positive things about this song and I can't say that I agree. Sure it's nice... but it's not very catchy and isn't something you could sing along to. I think she'll lose out in the end, not even a second chance for Sibel.

4th Place - Nordman - I Lagornas Sken: You know... I actually like this song! If they can perform it well I think they're guaranteed a spot in Andra Chansen.

3rd Place - Daniel Mitsogiannis - Pame: WOW! One of my favorite songs of the entire competition this year! OMG I can't spot listening to it. I think I love it more than Cara Mia!!! This is going to be one of my favorite songs of 2008 I think!

2nd Place - Carlotte Perrelli - Hero: When the song started I was sort of like... This is it? I was like... what is the big deal? Then the Chorus starts and the rest is history. Charlotte will go direct to the finals with this track. The verses are a bit weak I think... but WOW that Chorus is spectacular.

1st Place - Linda Bengtzing - Har Svart Kan Det Va: Ok so maybe Linda won't actually get first place... but she deserves it! I honestly think she will end up in second or third place tomorrow... but she deserves to go directly to the finals with this. It's perfect swedish schlager all the way with an AMAZING key change to end it all.

I sort of want to call in sick to work so I can sit here and listen to these songs all day!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Case Study: Hear'Say

The public loves to take an artist... bring them up and then watch their star fall... the harder it falls... the better.

One of the most prominent examples for this is with the band - Hear'Say from the Uk.
Am I the only one that liked them?! I mean ok their second album was crap... but who's to blame for that?! And you have to admit they sure did have a great use of the apostrophe in their name! No band had had such great use of an apostrophe since N'Sync.

Hear'Say was the first band created through the "Popstars" format. When the band won the television show back in late 2000 they were on cloud nine! When their debut single 'Pure and Simple' was released in March 2001 you couldn't go anywhere without hearing it. The single sold over a million copies and spent 27 weeks in the top 100. When the album was released 3 weeks later the band became the first british band to have a number one single and number one album at the same time.

The album was an extremely strong debut from a manufactured pop band. The entire album was full of good songs. I remember playing it for ages when it was released. By the time the second single was released there were hints that something wasn't right.

The second single was a remixed version of 'The Way To Your Love.' I just think if a record company has to remix an album track in order to release it, they must not have a lot of faith in the song. Nevertheless the single also went straight to number 1 in the uk singles chart.

Here's where things get fishy. After a second single the band went on tour and started to record a second album. There were no more singles released from their number 1 album - Popstars. It started to become clear that a lot of people were only looking to make a lot of money from the band and they had no interest in making smart decisions.

In November 2001 a new single was released, the first from their second album which came out in December.

In case you missed it lets look at this timeline again.

Debut Single - March 2001

Debut Album - March 2001

2nd Single from the first album - June 2001

Band goes on tour - No more singles from the first album

First single from second album - November 2001

Second Album - December 2001


Does anyone else see a problem with this? Clearly the band had no control in what was going on. When the second album peaked at #24 in the album charts it was clear there was a problem. At this point lead singer Kym Marsh left the band after becoming the center of attention in british tabloids.

There were no further singles taken from the second album! An entire album with only one single?! What was the point of even releasing an album then?

So after Kym left the band did the next logical step... create ANOTHER T.V. show. It would put them back in the public eye and they would use the show to select a new member for the band.

Good idea? Perhaps... until allegations came out that the entire audition process had been rigged. Johnny Shentall was announced as the new member of the band... the problem? Johnny had worked with the band in the past as a dancer. Johnny had also been in a band himself previously. People that had auditioned said Johnny had bypassed all the line ups and was given preferential treatment throughout the entire show. It was said that the show was just a ploy to get more publicity for the band, that the band never intended to choose someone from the public.

Once Johnny was selected the band recorded a third album and went on a festival tour of the Uk. By this time the public had turned on the band. At every show the band performed at they were met with booing and abused by members of the public. At one point the band was actually threatened by an armed man on the highway. When the reports came out the public accused the band of making the entire story up to get publicity.

The band held things together and released a new single in August 2001 - Lovin' Is Easy. I always thought this was their best single. It was a more mature sound and should have been their comeback. The single entered the charts at #6... their record label wanted a top 5 hit. A month later the band announced they had split up due to negative public reaction and hostility and industry pressure. Although the third album had already been recorded it was rumoured that Polydor records had never intended to release the album after Lovin' Is Easy failed to meet expectations.

How does a band go from 2 number one singles and a number one album to basically being dropped by their record label 9 months later?!
They may be gone... but personally I will always remember them for their brief shining moment in the world of pop.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Jason Donovan vs Rick Astley

Rick Astley

Jason Donovan

So I may not be old enough to remember when these two singers were in their peak... but that doesn't mean they dont' have a special place in my heart!

Rick Astley and Jason Donovan both had their careers take off when they teamed up with Stock, Aitken and Waterman's record label PWL. Both have had huge amounts of success and both continue to be involved in music to this day.

But who is the ultimate 80's PWL posterboy? Let's examine the evidence and you decide.

Most Hit Singles:
Jason Donovan: 17
Rick Astley: 16

Most Original Solo Albums:
Rick Astley: 6
Jason Donovan: 3

Most Number 1 Singles:
Jason Donovan: 4
Rick Astley: 3

Most Greatest Hits Albums Released:
Rick Astley: 4
Jason Donovan: 3

Worst CD Cover:

Jason Donovan: Happy Together

Rick Astley: The Ones You Love

Biggest Career Outside Of Music:

Jason Donovan - Acting

Biggest Scandal Of Their Career:

Jason Donovan: After being accused of being gay by a magazine Jason sued the magazine and won over $400'000 in damages. As a result Jason was accused of being homophobic. As a result he alienated a lot of his gay fans and Jason says that the entire fiasco was a mistake that hurt his career.

Rick Astley: In 2006 Rick had signed on to appear in the BBC's Celebrity duet show - Just The Two Of Us. At the last minute Rick pulled out and left the show organizers scrabling to fill his spot. Industry insiders critisized the singer for his unprofessionalism.

It's a tough call... but only one artist can reign supreme ... who is your favorite Stock, Aiken Waterman posterboy? Is it Rick Astley or Jason Donovan?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I Was Wrong!

So after listening to the one minute clips from tonights semi-final I was pretty un-impressed.

Maybe I was just in a bad mood, or maybe it took the full performance to really hit home for me... but after watching tonights semi-final live... I was WOWED!

Every performance (with the exception of Eskobar) was SPOT ON! The vocals were great, the performances were each special in their own way and the songs were MUCH better than I first thought.

First off... BWO ROCKED THE HOUSE! Now that I've seen it live and heard the whole song, I think Lay Your Love On Me is better than Temple Of Love. They definitely deserved to go straight to the final.

Therese was amazing... she borrowed Carola's wind machines and flags from 2006. Glad to see they're going to be used again in the second chance round. She'll go up against Sussie Tapper and Therese will win no contest!

Boy was I wrong about Caracola... the song is fun and extremely catchy... I've been singing it all day and they could sing live! I'm glad they get a second chance, but I'm a little scared that they're going up against Ola in the second chance round. My vote is going to have to be for Ola I think.

Finally the SHOCKER of the night! Frida vs Patrik! I LOVE Patrik's song. It's going to get a lot of play on my iPod. I was SURE he would go direct to the final.

But then along comes Frida and she really proved what this contest is all about. With a great song, great personality and great performance, the public will do the right thing. I never thought she had a chance (neither did she!) and sure enough she was voted direct to the final while Patrik is out of the competition.

I'm really happy with the results. I'm EXTREMELY happy that Eskobar didn't make it... the song was mediocre and the vocals were by far the worst of the night.

What A Show!

I cannot wait until next week!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Calm Before The Storm...

For the next 24 hours you can listen to one minute clips of the next 8 songs in Melodifestivalen.

I hate to say it but this may end up being the most boring semi-final yet.

There are only 2 songs that I really like, the rest are all pretty lacklustre to me, I don't even care who else goes through.

1. BWO - Lay Your Love On Me

Look, I LOVE BWO. They've produced one of the best albums of all time (Prototype) but I'm sorta getting bored of these singles they continue to release. Maybe it's just me? But this sounds like every other song they've ever released mixed in with Madonna's 'Hung Up.'

I do like it, but I don't LOVE it. When you compare it to the other songs we have in thie round, BWO is my vote to go straight through to the finalen.

2. Patrik Isaksson & Bandet - Under Mitt Tunna Skinn

This is the song I probably like the best in this semi-final. It's in swedish which I love and the chorus is high energy with a lot of layers. This year is lacking in Swedish entries and I think if this gets performed well he can make it to the final!

3. Caracola - Smiling In Love

No surprise that I like this song. It's very summery and cheery. I'll be interested to see how they can sing this live though. It's not as good as Cosmo4 from last year and Cosmo4 sung it great live. I doubt the girls will be able to pull this one off live.

The rest of the songs I'm not even going to bother ranking because I really don't like any of them. Therese is ok, but I don't think the opera bits work in the song. It would have been a much stronger entry if it just had a normal chorus. You can tell the song was written by 'Evan' but Evan should have sung it himself.

Eskobar will probably get to the final with this track, but it's extremely boring and if they send this to Eurovision they would never get past the semi-final.

The other songs aren't even worth me talking about.

The good news is that next Saturday is the Heat Of Death!!

So lets hope Patrik and BWO go through and Caracola get a second chance.

Maybe I'll like the songs more after they're performed?!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

What If I Change For You...

AIt's no secret that I'm a massive fan of cheesy pop, but my musical tastes are actually quite diverse and I love to discover a new song no matter what kind of music as long as it's good quality music.

I have just made one of these discoveries. The band is 'The Midway State' and they actually opened for Mika at the concert I went to.

When they came out I thought... oh no, not another lame opening act. Boy was I in for a surprise. These guys are amazing live and have a lot of talent. To top it all off they're Canadian :)

This is their debut single I believe - It may not be your thing... but hopefully you'll be able to appreciate it nevertheless.

The band have released an EP which you can purchase at their website.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


In 2 week's I'll be hitting the shores of England for 4 days before I fly to Stockholm for the FINAL of Melodifestivalen 2008!

While in the Uk there is no better place to dance to cheesy pop music as the famous G-A-Y Nightclub.

Already I'm thinking about the songs I'm most looking forward to hearing while I'm there.

The club is famous for playing tunes by artists like B*witched, Steps, S Club, Atomic Kitten, 5ive, Kylie, V, Ace of Base... if it's pop and if it's cheesy you'll hear it there.

One song I cant wait to hear there is:



Pure pop at it's best!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

This Is New Of That I'm Sure...

Oops! Let's try this again!
I accidently posted a No Angels track instead of Velvet yesterday.
So here is the song I meant to post!
The CD quality version of Velvet's new single - Deja Vu.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Why It's Ok!!!

So at first I was FURIOUS!!

How could CAROLA end up in the Andra Chansen?

Then It hit me... why this is a GOOD THING!

1. Sanna Nielsen deserved to go automatically... the song is beautiful and the vocals were flawless. The song is different from any other ballad that's been to the finals in sometime.

2. Ola was great, and deserved to go to Andra Chansen. I don't think he'll make it to the finals... but if he does he'll be a welcome addition.

3. Rongedal are fun, catchy and the song is pure fun. If they would have gone to the Andra Chansen, there is no chance they would have made it to the finals... this way they already have their ticket to the final!

4. Carola and Andreas will have no problem winning the second chance round and will end up in the final anyways!

So there you have it... It's ok that Carola and Andreas go to the Andra Chansen. Because it means that a great act like Rongedal get to have a minute in the spotlight and will be in the finals too!

Everybody Wins!

P.S. I LOVED tonights show... it was a HUGE improvement on last week. I still really like Alexanders song and I imagine I'll be playing the cd version a lot once I get my hands on the 2008 album!

Next week: BWO & Caracola!!


Ok so I just got back from seeing 'Mika' live on tour.

If he came to your city and you didn't go to see him, you missed out on one of the funnest concerts I've ever been to.

This man has the most energy and has more fun than anyone I've ever seen on stage.

No one was sitting, everyone sung along and danced along to every song. He had us eating out of the palms of his hands!

At the end of the show he told us this was the last night of the North American tour and that he was going to stop touring to finish his second album...

He came back on stage to do his finale... There was more confetti and streamers than i've ever seen in my life... and then... he starts bringing people on stage... and then more people start going on stage... and then the entire audience starts going on stage!!!!

At this point security start physically pulling people off the stage... you can't even see Mika anymore there are that many people up there.... and yet he is having a blast... still singing the song!


While I was on stage I happened to pick up the drum stick he was using earlier in the show... it had rolled forward and was just lying behind a light...

I knew Mika would want me to have it... so I officially have my very first drumstick from a concert! YAY ME!

So in closing... Mika is AMAZING... if you haven't discovered how amazing he is ... please make the time to do so.

UGH he was FLAWLESS when he performed this... the audience took the part of the choir... it sent shivers down my spine!! AMAZING!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Songs Online Now!


So I have absolutely no time to talk... but here are my favorites from Melodifestivalen Night 2!

Here are my faves though! This could change once I see the live performances... but I am VERY surprised!

First off Ola and Sanna aren't even in my top 3!!

1. Carola & Andreas - One Love

2. Alexander Schold - Den Forsta Svalan

3. Rongedal - Just A Minute

4. Sanna Nielsen - Empty Room

5. Ola - Love In Stereo

6. Lasse Lindh - Di Behovar Aldrig Mer Vara Radd

7. Andra Generationen - Kebabpizza Slivovitza

8. The Nicole - Razborka

Who will make it to the final? I think Carola and Andreas will go Direct... but the rest it a toss up... I really have no idea. No other song is absolutely good enough to go direct... I think its going to be very tough to call this one. I think the only other person who is guaranteed anything will be Sanna... she will either go direct or to to Andra Chansen.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

You're Not Alone, We Are Together

Jonathan Wilkes

Don't ask me where I dug this song up from. I was going through some of my old mix cd's back from like 2001 and fame across this old gem of a track.

The singer is Jonathan Wilkes you is best known for being Robbie Williams best friend. After singing a record deal with innocent records his debut single was released... unfortunately one single was all it took. The single peaked at #24 in the Uk.

His official website says that he was 'disillusioned with the music industry' and decided to put his singing career on hold. Sounds to me like he was dropped when the single failed to live up to expectations, but whatever helps ya sleep at night Jonathan!

Jonathan can still be seen performing in musicals in London; currently in 'Cinderella.'

At the end of the day I was one of the few people it seems who really liked his song. Sure it was repetative, but it was catchy and a good 'Spring' type song.

So let's look back at the one single Jonathan had and enjoy it together for old time sakes!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Bringin On The Killer Hook...

Now this is a song that SHOULD have been in Melodifestivalen... the triumphant return of Alcazar!!

It may not be the same old Alcazar as before... but at least it's got half of the original members and they sound like nothings changed! They go back to basics for this classic disco track. It would be nice to hear them do something a little different... but hey... if it aint broken don't fix it!!

OOhh love the hand clap at the bridge!


So the first semi-final has ended... the dust has cleared and two songs have been put through to the Finalen.

I'm not surprised by the results. It was clear that Amy and Christer would go through from the start.

As you can imagine I'm THRILLED that Amy got through! I did think her vocals were a bit weak, but the choreography was great! You have to remember she is only 15! She did an interview with esctoday where they ask her how she'd feel competing against the Swiss song if she made it to Eurovision. She handled the question very well and basically said that she didn't write the song, and that it's something the song writers have to deal with and that she wishes the song luck.

As for Christer... I realise the song is cheesy... but I have to admit I find myself smiling when I listen to it. It's all in good fun... but I sure do hope that he doesn't get very far with the song in the finals.

As for the Andra Chansen... I'm happy that E-type & The Poodles got through, I was sure they would... but I'm really dissapointed that Velvet didn't make it. It really is a crime. A lot of people said her vocals weren't very good, but I actually thought she sung it really fantastic live! An upbeat song is really hard to sing live, and she did a superb job.

I LOVED Brandur's voice live. He has a lot of talent, but the song just wasn't right.

Michael's song is great, I'm definitely going to be playing it a lot... he also did a great job live, but I think there's nothing really special about the song that hasn't been done in the past.

So until the next 8 songs are released!

Friday, February 08, 2008



Melodifestivalen 2008 has officially begun!

For the next 24 Hours you can hear 60 seconds of the first 8 songs that will compete on Saturday night for a spoto in the finals.

So far I am EXTREMELY impressed with EVERY track!

Here are mytop 4 favorites:





Is this track better than her last attempt? YES!! For the first time in a long time I'm excited about a Velvet track. Do I think this track will get to the finals? I don't. I think it's too dancey for voters.



ROCKIN'. I really enjoy E-type and when you blend his sound with 'The Poodles' rock you get a really great rock song. If they don't go to the final directly they'll definitely make it to the second chance round.


If you like Andreas Johnson or Sebastian you'll like Michaels song. It's easy to listn to, and I do like it... but there's nothing special about it. It's the same ole same ole. It may have a chance to get into the Second Chance round though.


This new band makes a strong entry with their Swedish song. It's very 60's sounding actually with a twist of modern rock. Very interesting mix!


6. Brandur - Lullaby


Expect a simple performance of just the artist and a piano on stage. A sweet song... but unfortunately he doesn't stand a chance.

7. Christer Sjogren - I Love Europe


Although I don't reallyl ike this song at first glance rumour has it that it will be popular with traditional Melodifestivalen voters. So there is a good chance this track will make it through to the finalen.

8. Suzzie Tapper - Visst Finns Mirakel


Last on my list... I don't really like this track at all and there's no way it's getting past this round.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

What's Wrong With Me Wrapped Around Your Finger...

Rachel Stevens

The princess of pop is reportedly back at it again! Her last album was released over 3 years ago now in October 2005. If you want a classic pop album this is one to add to your list of essential pop albums you MUST own! The album was a brilliant shining light in the world of pop... but unfortunately the record sales stalled and the album was deemed a commercial failure. Rachel went into seclusion and rumours were rampant that she had been dropped by her record label.

Today rumours have started again. It is believed that Rachel has parted ways with her management and record label and is currently working on a third album. A song entitled 'Guide To Seduction' is said to have been recorded by Rachel. True or False? I pray that this news is true!

Most people already have the FANTASTIC tracks - Some Girls & So Good... which will forever hold a place as two of the best pop songs of all time! Here are some of her album tracks I've liked:

Rachel Stevens - Crazy Boys

Rachel Stevens - I Will Be There

Rachel Stevens - Breathe In, Breathe Out (Single Mix)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

You Were Sleeping On A Sidewalk... Living On A Road

Bloom 06

I want you to think back to the late 1990's, to a time when pop music was simple. All you needed to have a hit single was a song about a little blue alien and a catchy song with lyrics like: I'm Blue Da Ba Dee, Da Ba Di. The band I'm talking about of coarse is Italian Eurodance act - Eiffel 65.


When the band launched in 1999 they became the most successful Italian Act in the US ever! Their single went top 10 and their album went top 5. They had further hits with 'Move Your Body' and 'Too Much Of Heaven.'


Their second album was released in 2001 and although they failed to achieve international success the band remained quite popular in Italy which resulted in a third album being released in 2003 on which most of the songs were sung in Italian.


In 2005 the band split up when Gabry Ponte decided to focus on his solo career. Gabry has has a number of hit singles in Italy.


The remaining members decided to continue on as a duo and recorded an album over 2 years which was originally intended to be Eiffel 65's fourth album. As the album developed it was clear the music was much different from the upbeat happy music of Eiffel 65. As a result of that and other factors the duo split from their production company. Because the company owned the rights to the name 'Eiffel 65' the duo was forced to come up with a new name.


In the fall of 2006 the band released their debut album under the name 'Bloom 06.'


To date they have released 2 singles and currently they are working on a second album that will be released this year. The band says the new album will be much lighter and contain more upbeat songs than the first. The music is described as Italian alternative/electronic/dance.


Their first single was 'In The City' which I really enjoy, although it took me acouple listens to get into it. The lyrics may not make much sense but I find it charming. The song itself is quite mellow and relaxing in a way.


Bloom 06 - In The City

Monday, February 04, 2008

I Thought I'd Seen Everything Til I Saw You

Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams is such a great song writer! He will be releasing a new studio album in March and here is his first single. It's only his second new studio album in the last 10 years!


Most of the younger readers may not have a real appreciation for Bryan's music. Considering one of the biggest songs in history is his 1991 track - Everything I Do, I Do It For You which spent 4 months at number 1 in the Uk and topped charts around the world.


If you have dismissed Bryan Adams you ought to think again. Despite his first singles being released back in 1980... Bryan's new music remains extremely relevant in Pop music today. Consider his '98 duet with Mel. C, or his 2000 his 'Don't Give Up' with Chicane which went Number 1 in the Uk.


His new single is subtle and very smooth sounding and is extremely easy to listen to. I really hope this means that his new album will be a hit in North America. His last album failed to make any impact in the charts here despite selling very well across Europe.


Bryan Adams - I Thought I'd Seen Everything

If you don't know much about his music try some of these tracks:

Bryan Adams - Cloud Number 9

Bryan Adams - Inside Out

Bryan Adams & Melanie C - When You're Gone

Friday, February 01, 2008

Until The Stars Come Crashing Down...

David Charvet

Does David Charvet look familiar to you? If so you might be surprised to find that David Charvet can actually sing; since he is best known for his well known roles on TV's "Baywatch" and "Melrose Place."


In 1999 David gave up acting to focus on a career in music, specifically in France and Europe. Today David has released 3 albums and 7 singles; reportedly David is working on his 4th album now.


I have a few of his songs from his second album and they're not bad! I quite enjoy the video for 'Leap Of Faith' which is probably his biggest hit to date. If you have any of his other stuff I'd love to hear it!

David Charvet - Leap Of Faith

David Charvet - All I Want Is You

Check out the cinematic video for 'Leap Of Faith.'