Tim: This one got to the final of Melodifestivalen this year, and has several good bits and several bad bits.
Tim: First bad point: that opening couple of seconds, and the times later on when that bit’s repeated. God, I find that jarring, and it just sounds wrong. Second: the shouting in the verses. Sometimes it can work, as Icona Pop have demonstrated many, many times; other times, like here, it just grates, especially when you’re combining that apparent anger with cheeky nods to the camera.
Tom: There’s promise in the instrumentation under that first verse, though, which is why I didn’t dismiss it immediately. And I’m glad I didn’t, because… well, I’ll let you finish the point you started in your last paragraph.
Tim: Good bit, though: every single moment of that wonderful chorus. The tune, the lyrics, the everything. Other good bit: the middle eight. It shows there’s a proper melody there, and that she’s got a good voice.
Tom: Which makes it odd that she has to switch into the weird not-quite-Icona-Pop voice, really. This could have been great, not just good.
Tim: Overall: yeah. That chorus and middle eight just about make up for the rest.
“Takes a song off a while back, and brings it very, very up to date.”
Tim: Speaking of covers, as we were yesterday, here’s one of a song that Lena Philipsson put in a fairly decent showing with at Melodifestivalen 1987. We had a look at it when it was redone in 2011 as something slightly different, but here’s Ace’s cover of it.
Tim: And that’s a good cover. Takes a song off a while back, and brings it very, very up to date – sounds remarkably modern, with all the vocal sample effects and soft dance beats, though still maintaining enough of the original so that devotees won’t hate it.
Tom: Yep – it sounds, to me, a bit like that Thomas Anders track from a couple of weeks back: old sensibilities, old melody, new production.
Tim: The annoying thing for me, though, is that it sounds familiar. And I don’t think it’s from hearing the original, because I’ve not listened to it that often.
Tom: Remember Modern Talking, that band that Thomas Anders was half of? For me, I keep hearing You’re My Heart. It’s not close, but it’s close enough. For you?
Tim: No. I can be more specific: it’s that descending melody in the middle eight, and it sounds in my head like it might have come from something like a Corrs song – definitely female fronted, but other than that I can’t for the life of me place it. OH WELL, good cover nonetheless.
“That’s not something you hear every… BLOODY HELL.”
Tom: Well, there’s a name that makes me think of awful movies. This is a cross between Ace Ventura and Van Wilder, presumably?
Tim: Blimey, you really don’t remember most of these tracks, do you? Not even the incredible Do It, or Busy Doin’ Nothing, which missed out on going to Eurovision by a quarter of a percent? Well, anyway, what we have here is basically a total racket. But it’s a fairly well-written total racket, so have a listen.
Tom: A sitar and other Indian percussion? That’s not something you hear every… BLOODY HELL. Sorry, the first chorus just kicked in and surprised the hell out of me. Not just because of its force: but because it sounds very, very good.
Tim: Sometimes I find reading the lyrics helps me get a better grip on a song; if you do that with this one, you’ll quickly get yourself into that position where the world has entirely lost its meaning, so don’t do that.
Tom: I really don’t like these lyrics; I know they’re meaning “let’s go out and have a good time” but what they’re saying is “let’s end up in an ambulance”.
Tim: Yes, but then you recently thought the idea of me sitting atop a 600 metre precipice was a horrific idea, so forgive me if I don’t agree with you there. Instead, listen to the noise, and enjoy it, because shouty as it may be, it’s a very enjoyable shouty.
Tom: Right! This is a bold choice that really pays off: it sounds unlike any other pop song we’ve covered this year, and it sounds brilliant. Pity about the words.
Tim: NO – let’s GET stupid. Let’s WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW to ask why. Let’s have the BEST NIGHT OF OUR LIVES, and let’s make HISTORY. Though seriously, “stupid”. What sort of a word is that?
Tim: No link. This year’s previous left me largely uninterested. This: not half bad, actually. It’s a total racket, of course, but then that pretty much goes with the RIOT territory and I reckon it pretty much hangs together.
Tom: That’s true: and it’s a difficult path that Icona Pop have forged. It’s easy to copy their style; it’s hard to make it sound good. This makes a pretty credible effort.
Tim: The verses are iffy – starting out they’re fine, because there’s nothing really to compare them to, but then the chorus hits, then HORNS*, and when we return for the second verse we’re left wondering where everything went and what on earth “my mind bending gravity is nature’s worst” is meant to mean.
Tom: I mean, we’ve heard worse lyrics, but not for a while.
Tim: Slightly similar with the middle eight, but those bits aside I really rather like this. Higher end of the scale, then, and if I wasn’t entirely exhausted right now I might be persuaded to possibly even kick over a bin or something.
Tom: I can get behind that. By which I mean, I’ll cheer you on as you kick over a bin.
Tim: Right, people, here’s the thing. This was the already-briefly-mentioned very very close runner-up at Melodifestivalen this year, and everybody loved and…and I don’t really get why. Now it’s been tarted up (very very) slightly for a UK release, so let’s focus on it.
Tim: Is it the message? I can understand that, I suppose, with its whole “sod off and stop making me do stuff” routine that’s admittedly quite attractive. The music doesn’t do all that much for me – the gentle guitar strummy bits in the verse are a little dull and initiate a gut “oh do get on with it” feeling from me; the similar bits in the chorus make me realise her shouting over light guitars isn’t a particularly pleasant sound, and the loud post-chorus gives me an “OKAY YOU’VE GOT ON WITH IT NOW STOP”.
I don’t want to give it a complete drubbing, as there are bits I do really like. Specifically, the second half of each verse, when the instrumentation picks up and she sings nicely, and the bit in the middle eight that starts just after two minutes in, where it all strikes a really great balance. Those aside, though: it’s really not for me, but I really wish it was.
Tim: No, it doesn’t. But then, Do It is one of the best tracks we’ve featured this year. So might it be followed up by something as impressive?
Tim: Ah. No. Not at all. This is, basically and entirely, awful.
Tom: Yep. That’s terrible.
Tim: The lyrics, I think, can be summed up by lines that include a “necklace made of pearl” and, well, the entire title line, so they’re out. The music, when it’s not being a total racket, is reminding me of Rebecca Black’s unfortunate Friday from a couple of years back, so that’s out.
Tom: That day is basically ruined for all lyricists now.
Tim: The video, meanwhile, I won’t pick out any single points from because that would imply other parts of it aren’t horrific. So really, OH DEAR ME. Can we go back to January?
Tim: The word that sprang to my mind when this first finished playing was “wowsers”. I’ll let you watch it before you comment on that.
Tom: Well, that starts as it means to go on, doesn’t it?
Tim: We’re told that, in the world of Ace Wilder, “the popguns are loaded and the world is constantly under fire from the demanding matrix of the choruses you always wanted to shout yourself blue to and the beats that will move your body in ways you didn’t know was possible”.
Tim: Now that sounds like a load of pretentious bollocks to me, but the track’s bloody brilliant so I don’t really care.
Tom: Yep, I’ve got to agree with you there.
Tim: It is loud and brash and heavy and demanding and a bit rude, but more importantly that all those (or at least just as importantly) it has a cracking tune, a lovely duh-nuh-du-du-nuh-nu-nu-etc hook (though I wouldn’t mind it we lost the doo-run bit) —
Tim: Figures. There’s also a nice uplifting message to it, as long as we’re talking metaphorically and assuming this isn’t a recruitment video for a new arsonist movement. Because if it is then I may have to rethink– actually, no, it’s still great. BRING ON THE TORCHES!
Tom: BRING ON THE WALL!
Tim: Erm, yes, why not. And if it’s a choice between that and Splash!, absolutely.