Sunday, March 30, 2008
After raving about Westlife's song - Something Right last week, I am disgusted to find this...
Something Right has officially been chosen as the bands third and most likely final single from their 9th album - Back Home.
The song has been re-mixed for the Uk single release and an official video clip has been released. The bad news is that it looks like they spend about $20 on the video. While the imagry is somewhat pretty... it looks like someone made it on their home computer.
When it comes to the re-mix they have utterly detroyed the years best pop song by adding a generic back beat to try and spice the song up and make it more 'cool.' The problem I have with that is that Westlife aren't cool! That's why I love them! I am really upset over this! I LOVE this song so much and I wanted it to be released so bad and now they've gone and ruined it! You can tell I'm mad because I used a lot of exclamation marks!
If you didn't get this track when PPG first posted about it I'll post it here again so you can hear the song in all it's original glory. Then you can compare it with the cheap remix it has received on the new video.
Westlife - Something Right
In other Westlife news... on June 1st Westlife will celebrate their 10 year anniversary by performing the biggest show of their entire career. The band will perform at Europe's 4th biggest stadium to a sold out crowd of 82'300 fans. The show, dubbed "10 Years of Westlife" has been described as a pop extravaganza! The show will of coarse be filmed and released on DVD. Westlife continue to be the worlds best documented act on DVD of all time with almost every music video and every tour having been released on DVD.
The band also announced that after their final concert they will take the next year off and that the band will not release a new album in 2008 and will concentrate on production of their 10th album for a release in 2009.
First I'm going to take you back to the summer of 1994! If you were alive back then chances are you used to sing along to this track. It was that Whigfield had an international number 1 smash hit with - 'Saturday Night.' Despite not having the same success that she had with her debut single. Whigfield remains active in the music industry to this day. She continues to release music as Whigfield. She has also written songs for other acts across Europe and in 2005 recorded a number of songs under the name 'Naan.'
As is with most acts that have huge initial success but can never re-create it, they tend to rely heavily on the song that made them famous in the first place. Acts are forever re-recording, remixing and re-releasing their original hit singles i.e. Pete Burns, Tiffany, Nikki French. So it's only fitting that Whigfield re-record her original hit and a bunch of other ones that nobody remembers and throw it all together on a new album!
Here is the 2008 version of 'Saturday Night.'
Whigfield - Saturday Night 2008
In other news...
Last year you may remember I posted news that 'Aqua' had re-formed! Although we may not have heard much from the band since their original press conference the band remains together and have announced 9 concerts in Denmark at the 2008 Gron Koncert to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy campaign.
This is the same show where Aqua last performed as a group back in 2001. Which seems like an appropriate place to launch a comeback.
The band are taking their time before making further commitments and plans as a band. At their press conference the band said they want to 'test the waters' to see how much interest there is in the band today.
Although Aqua are back together it hasn't stopped band member Soren from continuing his current project! Soren is currently in a band with his nephew, Nicolaj, called 'Hej Matematik!'
The band has released 3 digital singles to date and is about to release their debut album in Denmark. I wouldn't know how to describe their music... It's a little electro-pop meets funky R & B!? But as you can see in their album cover, they're definitely looking good!
Hej Matematik - Du & Jag
For those of you that are interested the video for their second single features a cameo by all other 3 original Aqua members! As Soren and his Nephew walk through a deserted mall they pass a store window where the 3 other members of Aqua are standing in the window and watch Soren as he walks by. It's neat to see them together again if only for a moment! You can see the clip to that video on youtube.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Linda awlkinig past me as she hits the stage for Melodifestivalen 2008.
Ok so I know I just posted about Caracola, but they deserve another post I think. There are very few artists willing to release the kind of pop album that Caracola have just released. Many acts will put out one or two pop songs and then give us an album full of the music they really want to release.
Caracolas english album is simply called 'This Is Caracola' and there is not a single ballad on the entire album! It does feature english versions of some of their previous swedish songs. Some of my favorites are below.
Caracola - Love Alive
Caracola - Summer Night
You can purchase their album Here.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Ok so I know most of you guys have made it clear that you're not fans of Westlife, but seeing as this is my blog... I'm going to continue to try and change your mind about them.
I used to be the worlds biggest Westlife fan... but after releasing crappy albums of covers over and over again, I really started to dismiss them alltogether.
But the band finally pulled it together for their latest album 'Home' which has been out for sometime now. While there are still some horrid covers on the album as usual... the band also has included some amazing original pop songs. The crowning achievement is of coarse the song 'Something Right' which will forever be one of their best songs of all time. It has been featured over at Poppostergirls site, so I won't bother posting it unless there is someone out there that doesn't have it still? The track was never released as a single in the Uk, but was a single in Sweden!
Their latest single in the Uk is 'Us Against The World' wasn't pushing any boundaries and isn't likely to make any new fans, but it features an unreleased track on the B-side called 'Get Away.' It's nothing groundbreaking but it's an upbeat sound that we rarely hear from the band. I'm not sure if I like the song as much as I like the first 15 seconds with the OooooOohhh!!
Sunday, March 23, 2008
In other fantastic news, after taking some time off from the blogging world Paul, from thezapping.com has decided to reclaim his throne and launch his new blog 'My Fizzy Pop'
If you haven't discovered the band Caracola you've been missing out. Not only are these girls cute, their music is 100% pure unapologetic, in your face pop. Their songs are very summey, the kind of song you want to blast from your car or at the beach.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
It was a year where anything could have happened. Charlotte was the obvious favorite, but Sanna was only 18 points behind. It truly was an exciting competition this year. Watching the show live at the Globen you really could feel the energy as each artist gave it their all.
When the dust settled Charlotte took home her second Melodifestivalen victory and will represent Sweden in Belgrade.
She will now go on a tour across Europe to promote the song and we will soon find out how the European public responds to the track. While the song is anthemic, catchy and has a lot of passion. There really is nothing groundbreaking or new with her song. It's a formula that has been done before and it will be interesting to see how she does at Eurovision and to see if she can beat Carola's placing from 2006.
My final thoughts are basically this. Whether you're a long time fan, a casual observer or if you have no idea what the hoopla is about. Melodifestivalen is about great music written by the best song writers and performed by the best talent. It is a competition that truly gives everyone a chance, from the first time performers to legendary stars. This is a country that takes this competition extremely serious. The entire city has been living and breathing Melodifestivalen every day of the last week. It has been on the cover of every newspaper since the day I arrived. arrived.
The entire city has been so warm and receptive. Everywhere I go I would meet new people, share opinions on the performers and the songs and make new friends. Sweden has something very special with Melodifestivalen and it is something no other country has been able to truly replicate. If you've ever thought about making the trip here for Melodifestivalen stop thinking and just make it happen in 2009! You won't regret it.
I'm off to London on Wednesday and I'll be back home in Vancouver, Canada on Thursday.
My cd count is now up to 66 cd's!! So you can expect some great new songs once I'm home and the blog returns to normal.
Finally... I've met a lot of people during the trip who actually read this blog. Talk about a small world! So I want to give a huge shout out to all of them and thank you guys for coming back, listening to the songs I post and leaving comments and feedback. You keep me motivated to continue posting the music I love.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
So lets break it down.
1. You wouldn't believe the luck we've had on this trip. Yesterday we were walking back to our hostel when I heard a microphone and an announcement being made on the street. A crowd had formed and when I went to take a closer look... (There was a big stage up on a catwalk between two buildings) LINDA BENGTZING walks out and performs her new single in the middle of the street!
It was AMAZING, if we had been 5 minutes earlier or later we would have missed the whole thing. Afterwards they announce that she is signing autographs in the mall area! So I actually got to meet her and she signed her single for me.
She was SUPER nice in person and surprisingly short and petite. I told her that we were voting for her and I got a fantastic photo of us together.
At this point I thought my life was complete. THEN! We head to the Globen to watch the dress rehersal. We were about 2 hours early so we go into the Globen Mall and guess who is right in front of us... CHARLOTTE PERRELLI! They're playing 'Hero' on a loop and she's signing autographs!
So of coarse we signed up for that. She was a bit of a diva, but still nice enough. She signed my single 'Take Me To Your Heaven.'
2. The dress rehersal: They basically explained to us that the Final tonight is live, but that they were recording the dress rehersal so they could play it if there was a problem during the live broadcast on Saturday.
Charlotte was flawless... but in a way seemed like she wasn't really trying. I think that of coarse they don't want to give it 100% because they have to be ready for Saturday night.
Sibel's vocals were really poor last night. I'm not sure if she is sick or was just holding back... but it was probably her worst performance so far in the competition.
Linda rocked it! She's toned down the performance a bit and her vocals were really strong. I still don't like the choreography too much... but the audience loves the song and her single is sold out at every shop in Stockholm.
Amy Diamond was the most improved vocally. She sounded MUCH better and she added something to her stage props which I love.
Nordman has a really good chance of winning it all tonight. It was pretty clear after watching the audience reaction that people are LOVING Nordman. I think perhaps a lot of fans will split the vote between BWO and Charlotte which will leave an open door for Nordman.
Sanna was perfect as usual and hadn't changed anything in her performance.
Rongedal was another big surprise... everyone loved them. Of coarse the people around us were impressed that we knew the entire routine and gave our own performance as well.
Christer is the song you love to hate.
BWO was a big hit as well and nothing much had changed for their performance either.
So Im really stuck... I don't know what is going to happen tonight! The media here seems to have Charlotte pegged as the winner but I think BWO and Nordman could easily steal it.
Don't forget half of the vote is decided by a Jury and half from the public and quite often the juries and the public don't match.
3. So today we did some research and found out that there was a massive autograph singing taking place downtown. So at 11:30 I was waiting outside to see performances from Daniel, Alexander Schuld, Caracola, The Poodles and Ola!
Daniel was really really nice. It was actually pretty good to see him sing 'Pame' without all the glitter and campy costume and dance routine. I really really like this song. I talked to him for acouple minutes and he was really happy to sign autographs and pose for photos. Daniel said he wants either Charlotte or Sanna to win tonight.
Caracola were by far the nicest of all the stars I've met here (actually they're tied with Linda who was really great as well.) They signed 3 singles for me and asked me about Canada. They want Sanna to win tonight.
Alexander Schuld did a SUPERB acoustic version of his Melodifestivalen entry, but he wasn't very receptive when signing autographs.
The Poodles also did an acoustic set of a bunch of their hits but I couldn't be bothered to wait in line to meet them. They were also giving their single away for free to everyone walking on the streets. It came across as a little desperate actually.
It was great to see Ola live since I'm not seeing him in the final tonight, but he only sand Love in Stereo which was dissapointing. Caracola sang two tracks and I hoped that Ola would at least sing SOS as well. When we met him he was shocked to hear we were from Canada and he was really nice as well and talked to us for acouple minutes before posing for pictures.
I think I've told every artist that I've met that we've come all the way from Canada just to see them.
4. We went clubbing last night and they played Mans, Linda, Chatlotte, BWO, Amy, Christer, Shirley Clamp, Carola and Andreas, Rongedal, Sanna Nielsen and so much more... it was madness!
Im just getting ready to head to the Globen now to watch the Finalen. Don't forget you can watch it live online at svt.se/melodifestivalen tonight!!
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
So Im here in Stockholm and here is an update for you all!
First off we went shopping yesterday and I spent approx $6000 Kronor on Cds and clothes! Thats about $1000 USD in one day.
When I was buying some cds the guy at the register told me that Amy Diamond would be signing autographs there that night! *I was buying her Gold edition of Music In Motion*
So at 4pm I waited in a line of 10 year old girls to meet Amy Diamond. When I finally got there I told her that I was a little embarassed because I was the oldest fan there and that I had flown all the way from Canada to see her in Melodifestivalen. *Only a slight lie* She was sort of embarassed and slightly scared! She signed my album and then I asked her what her favorite song was besides hers of coarse and she said she couldnt decide.
I posed for a picture and that was it! My brush with Swedish popstar fame!
BUT HERE IS THE BIG NEWS!
Tonight we went to a little bar in Gamla Stan and I met the stage director for Charlotte Perrellis performance in Melodifestivalen! He gave me some inside info on her performance!
First off... when her performance begins and she is in black and white... he said that the organizers were originally not very happy with the idea and they had to work hard to convince them. In the end the organizers gave in and said they would see how it worked in the semi-final. He said they were happy with the way it worked out.
ALSO! We can exclusively tell you that the catwalk has been extended for Charlottes performance! He seemed to make a big deal about this.
THe night was amazing they played Mans Zelmerlow, Charlotte twice! BWO, Britney, Nsync, Worlds Apart!! 5ive, Westlife... it is obvious that the Swedes take their pop music very seriously.
Its now 2am and Im off to bed!
Expect a massive update after the dress rehersals on Friday night!!
Monday, March 10, 2008
After 4 days in London I've officially arrived in Stockholm. This is after a 4 hour delay at Heathrow. Then when we finally got on the plane they announced that we would be stuck there for an extra 30 minutes because some idiot accidently used the de-icing chemicals on the planes brakes and now they had to wash the breaks.
So first off London was amazing. Bought lots of new clothes and cd's of coarse. Did plenty of dancing at the clubs. You should have seen me do my dance routine to Steps - Last THing On My Mind... it was classic ;)
On Saturday night I went to a Swedish pub in London where they actually showed Melodifestivalen - Andra Chansen live via sattelite! You can't imagine how cool it was to watch the show live in a room with a bunch of other fans.
It was clear that Ola was the crowd favorite and everyone was extremely relieved when he won his first round against Caracola who put up a great fight and looked amazing might I add!
THe biggest shock of the night of coarse was Carola and Andreas failing ot make it through to the finalen. Carola had changed her performance from the loud dramatic show to a sweet and innocent performance with a lot of interaction between her and Andreas. It wasn't enough and Nordman beat tthem in the first heat. You shoul dhave seen her face! It is all over the Swedish newspapers still. I don't really understand what happened? I think the song is amazing and Carola and Andreas are huge stars in Sweden.
I think this will be the end of Carola ever doing anything with Melodifestivalen again. Actually Id love to see Carola on stage with Nordman during their performance on Saturday! She could be the witch and they could burn her live on stage! No?! Just a thought.
When they showed clips of all the songs that were in the final everyone cheered or booed and it was clear which songs were the faves.
Everyone loves Amy Diamond, Charlotte, Linda and BWO!
After the show they played a bunch of classic schlager songs and everyone sang and danced along. It was amazing. My friend who I brought with me and who has never been exposed to anything really schlager before was amazed!
I also have to give a huge shout out to Leyton! We were talking at the pub and when I told him I was from Canada he asked if I had a blog... sure enough he reads the blog! When I get home and I can post music again I have something special for ya so keep an eye out !
My final thought on Melodifestivalen is that Charllotte needs to win. I LOVE BWO and I won't complain if they win... but I think Charllotte will be able to get high marks at Eurovision.
In other Pop news, last night we went to The X-Factor live tour in London last night at the O2 arena. The show was really really good but the night truly belonged to 'Same Difference' who stole the show. Their debut single is released on April 21st and I'll have a post dedicated to them when I get home!
Ok enough rambling from me... I'm really really tired and this post probably doesn't make a lot of sense.
I can't wait to post new songs for you guys and get home to listen to all my new cd's. I'll update you again soon. I'm going to the dress rehersals on Friday and then of coarse the finalen is Saturday night. Be sure to watch it live online at svt.se/melodifestivalen