Danny & Freja – It’s Only You

Paddy McGuinness has been replaced by a scantily-clad dominatrix.

Tim: Danny, off E.M.D. and In Your Eyes, is getting released in the UK in July, with an old track of his but with some re-recorded female vocals. Oh, and don’t watch this if your grandparents are hanging around.

Tom: Well, that is a bit post-watershed, isn’t it? I’d like to think it’s some dystopian future version of Take Me Out in which Paddy McGuinness has been replaced by a scantily-clad dominatrix.

Tim: The music’s nothing special, I suppose, but it’s nothing bad.

Tom: Now I disagree there: I think this is a really good track. It’s not really got a late-night full-club drunken singalong, but as an early-on floor-filler I think it does really quite well.

Tim: They could probably have chosen a better one for a first UK release if they’re going to raid his back catalogue, but it’ll do, although part of me thinks it’s somewhat forgettable.

Tom: In that case, I look forward to hearing about his other tracks: they must be tremendous.

Tim: Well, try Tokyo or Play It For The Girls – both off the same album as this, and largely chirpier and happier. Anyway, since we’ve got this song, the question is: Will it be successful over here? I would say that with a song like this it depends absolutely entirely on radio airplay, so let’s hope it gets picked up,

Sonohra – There’s A Place For Us

They actually seem to be enjoying themselves.

Tim: Chances are, you’ve heard that the third Chronicles of Narnia film, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, has just been released.

Tom: The third? I missed the second entirely. Anyway, if this has spawned anything half as good as Lazy Sunday, I’ll be happy.

Tim: Well, this song is from the soundtrack. Sort of. It’s slightly odd: the official recording artist is Carrie Underwood, who put together a not altogether bad version, but alongside that various other acts from around the world have recorded their own versions, presumably for the noble cause that is selling more copies of the soundtrack. These acts include Sweden’s E.M.D. (who actually managed to perform a very good live version, if a little shaky on the vocals), Britain’s Joe McElderry (who decided that one song wasn’t enough for him and did a somewhat better second one as well, especially if you quite liked the weird auto-tune fake backing singers effect on Ambitions) and Germany’s Victoria S (who, appropriately for the season, decided to dress up as a Christmas tree decoration).

Tom: Five versions of the same song? That’s a challenge even for me. Particularly with a song like that.

Tim: Yes – by and large, unfortunately, it’s not all that great. Somehow all of these separate groups/singers have taken what could (and indeed should) be a very emotional song, and seemingly stripped it of almost all feeling whatsoever.

Tom: Well, it’s a kids’ movie song. It’s not going to make adults that emotional. Apart from the ending of An American Tail. That can floor anyone and it is PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE to cry at it, okay?

Tim: Um, yes. Yes Tom. But even if this is a kids; movie, when the lyrics are ‘We could be the kings and queens, of anything if we believe’, I want to be made to run to the kitchen, grab some tin foil, and make myself a crown.

Tom: You don’t need a song to do that, Tim.

Tim: Anyway, Sonohra, an Italian duo, did better than most.

Tim: What is it about this one that I like? I don’t know. Their voices work well on it, which helps – it seems to work better for me in a lower register – and the instrumentation’s quite a bit louder and especially noticeable in the re-entry after the bridge, which helps create a song you can properly nod your head to. Most of all, though, they actually seem to be enjoying themselves a bit, which always comes in handy.

Tom: It’s the rocky-bit during the first half of the chorus – the ‘kings and queens’ bit – that stands out for me. The rest is generic movie-soundtrack rubbish, and sadly one awesome bit of melody isn’t enough to save the whole song for me.

Tim: Hmm, fair point, I suppose, but I like it.

Tom: And I’ve just realised why I like it – it’s almost exactly the same as the good bit from Robyn’s Call Your Girlfriend. “The only way her heart will mend”, and all that. It’s a sudden descending major-key bit that stands out. At this point, I which I knew more about music theory.

Tim: Ooh, it is and all, isn’t it? Anyway, sod this – you’re right, I don’t need a song. Now where did I put the Pritt Stick? And has anyone got a throne I can borrow?

Danny Saucedo – In Your Eyes

He does a similar trick to Robyn.

Tim: E.M.D. are a Swedish boyband formed a while ago out of three Idol finalists, none of whom won it but each of whom was fairly competent and had vague solo success, but decided they could do better as a band. They are, if you like, a Scandinavian One Direction, two years earlier.

Anyway, right now that’s not particularly relevant. What is relevant is that the D. out of E.M.D.* is releasing this on Friday to remind us that he does exist as a solo artist in his own right, in preparation for entering Melodifestivalen next year.

* Creative naming at its finest there – the other two are Erik and Mattias.

Tom: Just before the chorus, I thought “ooh, this is about to kick in properly, isn’t it?” … and then it didn’t. It stayed exactly the same. Disappointment.

Tim: Perhaps. He does a similar trick to Robyn and a few others – trying to create the impression of the track kicking in by dipping slightly beforehand. Often that doesn’t work at all, but sometimes it does, and I think this is one of those times – the beat’s still heavy enough to satisfy as a chorus, even if it’s no bigger than the verse was.

I also like the post-bridge moment, which provides a whimsical touch for anybody who might find it dragging a bit.

Tom: Yes, but he’s pronounced ‘fire’ as two syllables and ‘desire’ as three – “fi-yah” and “desi-yah“. That irritates me for some reason – and now I’ve brought it to your attention, it’ll annoy you too.

Tim: It doesn’t, actually, mainly because it’s quite hard to pronounce -ire as one syllable anyway, especially if you’re singing.

The one really bad thing about it, though, is that video, which was clearly made by someone who should never ever have been introduced to Windows Movie Maker.