“I’d have a hard time working out if it’s just earnest, some sort of German joke that I don’t get, or a badly misfiring Australian tourist board advert.”
Tim: You might be wondering what the lyrics to this are; it’s basically “Australia, you’re bloody amazing”. So please, enjoy the didgeridoos.
Tom: “One way ticket” and “Down Under” appearing in that opening verse makes it even more ridiculous than it already is. Schlager often edges close to the line of self-parody: honestly, if this wasn’t published on That Big Official Schlager YouTube Channel, I’d have a hard time working out if it’s just earnest, some sort of German joke that I don’t get, or a badly misfiring Australian tourist board advert.
Tim: Nope – it’s just earnest, true love for the country. I did, on first listen, find this largely unremarkable, although I can’t think of many other songs off the top of my head which are just plain love letters to different countries, and certainly no other recent pop songs with didgeridoos.
Tom: There’s a reason for that.
Tim: True, but experimenting’s rarely a completely awful thing to do. I did, however, find the chorus stuck in my head a couple of hours after first hearing it, and I reckon that must count for something.
Tom: I’ve modified my “if you can remember it, it’s good pop” motto in recent years: you have to remember it and ALSO not be bothered by it. This definitely fails that second test.
Tim: Maybe, but at the end of the day, it’s basically good catchy German pop. And by and large, that’s a very good formula.
“I’m distracted enough by that corset that I’m finding it difficult to complain.”
Tim: So I have a friend at work who is absolutely convinced that She-Wolf by Shakira will go down in history as one of the most under-appreciated tracks of all time, and that twenty years from now it will be treated with as much reverence as classics like Imagine and Hallelujah.
Tom: He’s wrong.
Tim: I, and everybody else, think he’s off his nut, but he won’t listen to reason. Anyway, here, in an attempt to resolve your musical boredom, is seemingly what you get when a German schlager artist tries to do Latin pop.
Tom: I mean, the intro is very Cheap Thrills, but frankly I’m distracted enough by that corset that I’m finding it difficult to complain.
Tim: There’s not a huge amount of depth in the lyrics – it’s basically a case of “I’m feeling proper raunchy right now, so we’re going to have sex”, which fits the genre perfectly well enough.
Musically it gets off a great start – diving in with the chorus is a good choice here, and overall I think it keeps it up.
Tom: I’ll grant you, Tim, I’m not bored, but I think that’s mostly due to– yep, I just put it in a background tab and there’s really not much left here. It’s a solid middle-of-the-playlist dance-pop song.
Tim: I’m not sure Latin schlager works entirely as a sub-genre, but I’ll take it as a bit of fun.
Tim: They say schlager’s on the way out – there was nothing to really represent it in either Eurovision or even Melodifestivalen this year, and a lot of people are saying it’s just not the done thing any more.
Tom: I really hope this is a leadup to a schlager song, and your punchline isn’t “so here’s some dubstep”.
Tim: So, here’s some…
Tom: Oh my word, the orchestra hits.
Tim: I propose that ‘they’ are wrong, though, as evidenced by this track, which is the first single by the winner of this year’s Deutschland sucht den Superstar (or what the rest of the world would call German Idol), and she actually made it her thing just to sing schlager, and then beat the runner-up with a convincing 70% of the vote.
That’s refreshing, isn’t it? That a young new artist can win a singing contest with this, and then be number one in the charts for two weeks running.
Tom: Blimey, number one with this? That’s not so much refreshing as just full-on startling. It’s good, but it’s extremely old-school and… well, it does go on a bit.
Tim: It does, yes, and it could probably do with a lazy key change – you know, the ones that get criticised for purely being there to give a bit of life to a song that’s reached its limit. That aside, it’s a perfectly standard example of the genre – a decent listenable track and worth mentioning, if only for the nice “cheese is alive” message it sends out.