Saturday Flashback: Eric Saade – Manboy

You know what else no-one’s doing? Raccoons.

Tim: This really, really, really should have been Sweden’s entry to Eurovision 2010.

Tom: It’s Womanizer by Britney Spears, isn’t it? When he started his vocals, I muttered “Superstar, where you from, how’s it going”. Decent choreography though, although he seems to forget where the audience is half way through.

Tim: Perhaps, but this is Melodifestivalen, Sweden’s (vastly superior) version of Your Country Needs You, so he just needs to remember where the camera is. Also, you need to wait ’til after the key change before you can properly judge the dancing.

Tom: Ah, he’s been to the George Sampson school of stage performance then. (Not Daz Sampson, thankfully.)

Tim: Apparently, ‘everybody does fire’ and it’s quite boring.

Tom: He’s got a point there. You know what else no-one’s doing? Raccoons. No-one ever unleashes a hundred ravenous raccoons to attack the singer on the key change.

Tim: True, although raccoons would probably poo everywhere. Just not practical.

Tom: Neither’s rigging up a power shower above the stage, but they manage that.

Tim: Ah, but he practically had to beg them to. (Really, he did.) He probably wouldn’t have been so enthusiastic about unleashing rabid animals to munch on him.

Tom: Not sure about these lyrics either. “You can call me manboy” sounds like an odd way of saying “I have learning difficulties”. Can I do that joke?

Tim: Yeah, why not.

Tom: Hmm.

Manboy, manboy,
You can call me manboy,
I don’t care, I’ll show you how to love.

I’m not an expert, but I’d guess most women would prefer ‘man’ over ‘boy’. There’s not a whole lot of ‘showing how to love’ when your entire experience of love is the Victoria’s Secret catalogue. Or, if you weren’t born in an 80s sitcom, the internet.

Tim: Well I think that’s it. He pretty much is only a boy (19), so he wants the man to shine though. And, after all, what better way is there to prove manliness than stand in the pouring rain?

Tom:Raccoons. Fighting raccoons.

a-ha – Butterfly, Butterfly

It seems, weirdly, almost noble.

Tom: a-ha are releasing their last ever single. This isn’t a comeback – it’s more that they’ve just been trundling on in Norway all these years, while not many people in the UK noticed. They’ve decided to call it a day now, and this is their slightly melancholy last hurrah. It’s called “Butterfly, Butterfly”, and while it’s not going to make anyone dance like an idiot, it does make a rather nice coda to their quarter-century in music.

Tim: Right from the start you can tell it’s going to be slightly downbeat, but it’s nice. There’s not many bands that say, ‘this is it,’ so it seems, weirdly, almost noble. Like, yes, we could keep releasing records, but it’s going to stop at some point, and we’re all getting old, so we may as well quit while we’re still going fairly strong, and thanks for everything.

Tom: I’d bet on a comeback tour in ten years’ time though.

Tim: Good lyrics, as well – they say goodbye, but not in such an obvious way that someone listening twenty years from now will immediately know this was their last single. Only criticism is that is does go on a bit at the end, though, as though they can’t quite bear to let it go.

Tom: Still, after 25 years, I think they’re allowed one more chorus.

Vengaboys – Rocket to Uranus

Oh hell no. There are so many things wrong with this.

Tom: Oh hell no. There are so many things wrong with this: Perez Hilton. The rip-off of “House of the Rising Sun”. Just the fact that the Vengaboys are attempting a comeback.

Tim: The first time I heard this, I thought, “Oh God, the Vengaboys are back, doing a rubbish song filled with cheap innuendo, where they want to say ‘Rock It to Your Anus’ but that would be too rude.” Then, however, I watch the video and I’m pleasantly surprised to discover I was wrong – it is actually a song about a real space mission! As their YouTube channel says, ‘it’s about personal freedom and interplanetary travel.’

I don’t think you can mention Perez (who, it seems, used to be the baby in the Teletubbies – who knew?) without also mentioning Pete Burns, who has an army of bikini-clad warriors trying to destroy a dance party but whose one weakness seems to be dance music – go figure.

It’s a slight shame that they resorted to really really tacky innuendo (a cock-shaped rocket? Seriously?) despite the fact that they managed fine without it 10 years ago, because it means a lot of their old fans now have a(nother) reason to distance themselves from it, but for me, this just about manages to fit in the guilty pleasure category.

Friðrik Ómar – I Want To Know

It’s the official song of Reykjavik Pride 2010, and for the first 15 seconds you’ll think you’re listening to Underworld.

Information for you:

Hmm. He looks like a Nordic version of Neil Patrick Harris, only less awesome.

There’s something about the chord progression in “to break the chain / and love again” that reminds me of Guru Josh’s Infinity 2008.

And special attention needs to go to the lyrics “kissing your lips / in a total eclipse”, there. That’s a particularly inspired kind of insipid.

Agreed, but I feel special attention should also be paid to:

“When I rest my head in an empty bed
Only memories hanging on my wall
I stare into space with the tears on my face
And I count them as they fall”.

Sort of what emo would be if it had been invented by Lazytown.

You do (I sincerely hope) recognise the oh-oh lead into the chorus.

Shockingly, I don’t.

Darin – Lovekiller

This is the new single by the guy that did that cover of Viva la Vida that you thought didn’t go anywhere. This, on the other hand, can safely be described as BANGIN’.

This is the new single by the guy that did that cover of Viva la Vida that you thought didn’t go anywhere. This, on the other hand, can safely be described as BANGIN’.

When the first chorus hits, you’ll think to yourself “hang on – is this not the type of chorus that would normally come after the bridge? What can he possibly do that won’t be a massive anti-climax?” Well. Just keep listening.

Blood and sand! It’s like they just took the last third of the song and stretched it out over four minutes. It’s not the Almighty version of ‘Evergreen’, true, but in terms of sheer What Do You Mean It’s Not Awesome it ranks among the greats.

I also love that the music alone couldn’t contain all the excitement in this song, so it’s had to spill over into the lyrics. He’s turned the person who was the love of his life (we presume) into someone roughly on a par with the Joker:

The knife is in your hands
Is that a smile on your face?

and later

You won’t stop until your victims crawl

I’m surprised that Marvel and DC haven’t cashed in on that, really. Batman belting out a power ballad about his dead parents would be a real moneyspinner

I actually did have a thought the other day, whilst in a remarkably camp mood, that they really should do musicals of superheroes. You’ve got all the necessary bits – downer song to begin with (parents or uncle killed vs Les Misérables’s Work Song), realisation that you can actually do good things (buy a load of cool stuff and make a cave vs Joseph’s Go Go Go Joseph), put in a sod of a lot of work (discover how to make a web vs Billy Elliot’s Electricity) and then a feel good song at the end (bad guys all dealt with vs Hairspray’s You Can’t Stop The Beat).

Textbook.

That’s genius – although surely some pretentious student group has already taken something similar up to the Edinburgh Fringe. A little research reveals “Dark Knight of the Soul”, and I honestly can’t tell if it’s a parody or not.

There was a musical episode of kids’ show “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” though, featuring Neil Patrick Harris as the villain.

Dark Knight of the Soul’s got to be a parody, surely – especally with the too-cheesy-to-be-true Meat Loaf references. Spider-Man on Broadway seems to be genuine though.

“Lyrics by Bono and the Edge”? Oh my.