Saturday Flashback: Eric Saade – Sting

“What an odd choice of brass samples!”

Tim: Couple of weeks back, Britain’s best club night did a virtual party over Zoom as it obviously couldn’t happen in person – about a hundred people connected, seven hours of a DJ playing music with frequent cuts to people dancing in their rooms with ridiculous outfits, flags, lights, all sorts. Whole lot of fun, with this being one song that was played that I was surprised to have no memory of whatsoever.

Tom: What an odd choice of brass samples! Flagged up in the performance video, just about audible from time to time, but never actually brought to the forefront. Even in the middle eight, they’re relying on a vocal sample and dance moves. It’s like they wanted to aim for Sunstroke Project but couldn’t bring themselves to commit.

Tim: Ah, a beautiful reference there. I’m not sure why we didn’t feature it in our Rejects that year either – perhaps 2015 was a very strong year, but in any case it’s here now, so finally we have justice. Because what a good song it is!

Tom: It is, but I can most likely destroy your enjoyment of it with one word.

Tim: Ooh, that’s a claim and a half.

Tom: Do name the good things first, though.

Tim: From the moment he starts singing there’s plenty of energy there, a lovely melody into and throughout the chorus (and who doesn’t love a good “screw you” in the lyrics?) with a nice brassy breakdown every now and again. Although, speaking of the lyrics, it’s never actually specified what the ‘it’ is that’s going to sting, nor who it’s going to sting. I’ve been looking at the lyrics for a while now and I really can’t work it out, which is slightly annoying, but, oh well. Music’s good enough for me. Wasn’t for him, mind, as of course Måns won instead, but at least he got straight to the final, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Anyway, what’s that word?

Tom: “Stink.”

Tim: Hmm…nice try, but no. Still fine with it. Sorry.

Eric Saade – Glas

“It’s just okay, I guess!”

Tim: Over the years, Eric’s done brilliant songs, but also more than his fair share of awful songs, so I was a bit nervous when I pressed play on this.

Tom: It’s neither! It’s just okay, I guess!

Tim: First three notes, sing for life (and I can’t believe we’ve never featured that song), which is a happy start and the strings sound promising. Initial chorus backs that up. First verse…hmm…oh, but then the chorus comes back, it’s got more effort in it that previously and we’re right back on top.

Tom: I mean, “on top” is being a bit bold there, I think. I kept drifting into other tabs and being distracted by other things.

Tim: Second verse is fine because we know there’s better stuff coming. Given that, we’ve a 50-50 chance of the middle eight going well or not, and it turns out that…oh, it’s entirely average. Final chorus, good, entirely as expected. Taken as a whole, then, the song is basically entirely listenable, and better than I was worried it would be. You know, I’m reading that last sentence back, and it’s probably about as ‘damning with faint praise’ as it’s possible to get, isn’t it?

Tom: Whereas I just damned it with “meh”.

Tim: Oh, well.

Eric Saade – Så Jävla Fel

“It’s ambiguous from the lyrics whether they’ve actually broken up or if she’s just popped out to get some milk.”

Tim: Eric’s back after what feels like years, with a song titled ‘So Damn Wrong’. Make your own jokes…

Tim: The titular Så Jävla Fel is how it feels when he’s not around his woman, though it’s ambiguous from the lyrics whether they’ve actually broken up or if she’s just popped out to get some milk; either way, standard message for what is, let’s face it, a somewhat standard song.

Tom: I was going to say: there’s not much here to spark interest. There’s just too many long, dirge-like synths in the background, and the song just seems to plod along.

Tim: Having said that, I do like the chorus here, mainly because it comes as quite a surprise – the verse and intro and stuff is so different from what I like to associate with him that it’s almost a relief to hear it, as it’s a bit closer.

Tom: The only part that stands out for me is the introduction to that chorus. It’s good, but it’s surrounded by so much dull that I just can’t get into it. But yeah, to damn with faint praise: at least that chorus is a relief.

Tim: As well as being not bad in its own right, mind. Just, a bit of a shame about the rest of the song.

Eric Saade – Girl From Sweden

“Oh, Eric.”

Tom: Straight away, I’ve got Ash’s “Girl from Mars” in my head, and I just know this isn’t going to be as good.

Tim: No – I will warn you in advance, this is a fairly awful song, but it’s also slightly enjoyable so have a listen and see which side you fall on.

Tom: I… huh. You’re right. That’s not a good song, but it’s so well-produced that it’s difficult to realise that.

Tim: So there’s some horrible messing around with his voice, no idea why, an unnecessary yet blatant call back in the lyrics to a previous song, and a remarkably unapologetic level of xenophobia.

Tom: Not to mention really terrible lyrics, some full-on bragging about his own attractiveness that frankly just grates, and a bizarre “yup” before the chorus as if he’s agreeing with himself.

Tim: AND YET, I still don’t mind it all that much, because – you know, I don’t know why. I want to say the whistling’s alright, but actually there’s not a lot of that, and if the only enjoyable part of a song is, what, forty seconds in total, then the ‘slightly’ really is incredibly slight.

Tom: There are some moments of brilliance into here: the instrumentation in the pre-chorus is very, very good, for example, and that introduction’s pretty damn promising. But the rest of it…

Tim: You know what, I’ll close by rewriting my introduction somewhat: this is a really awful song. Oh, Eric.

Eric Saade – Take A Ride (Put Em In The Air)

“I’ll admit that the chorus worked very well for me”

Tim: Eric’s back with some new music; here it is, and a rather jolly track too.

Tom: Oh, that tin-whistle intro put me off so much.

Tim: Really? Well, I guess it could be a bit divisive, but otherwise, isn’t it? Often, the first half of that chorus would be considered enough, and many artists would be tempted to leave it there and move on after the “go ahead”s. But NO, instead we get a full on jump around section after that, or at least if you don’t want to jump around you at least have to drum your hands on the table because it’s mostly brilliant.

Tom: I’ll admit that, yes, the chorus worked very well for me – and “air” is a damn good word to repeat like that, but you can basically just yell and it’ll sound okay.

Tim: My one niggle with it that the naughty word sticks out a bit, especially with the whistling afterwards, which to me makes it seem like a little kid who knows he’s done something wrong but is trying his best to look all innocent, and doesn’t work so well.

Tom: I think that might be a cultural thing; if you’re not a native English speaker it doesn’t stand out so much. Remember the original version of Cliche Love Song?

Tim: Yes, I suppose. And that aside it’s all great, so like I said, BRILLIANT.

Eric Saade – Du Är Aldrig Ansam

“One of the loveliest chorus lyrics I’ve heard in quite a while.”

Tim: Eric is in severe danger of being overtaken by Pitbull as the most written about artist on this site, and since nobody at all wants that, let’s write about this charity single. The title? ‘You Are Never Alone’.

Tim: And by charity, I mean Unicef, who are doing lots of work for all the kids Eric is playing football with and standing awkwardly next to in that video.

Tom: We’ve always said, in the past, that we’ll treat charity singles like regular ones — based mainly on the music.

Tim: It’s a cover of an old song (I say old, 1999) by Swede Mauro Scocco, and the chorus is there to reassure: “I can go all night, take a train or plane, it doesn’t matter where you are, I’ll be there anyway” which to be honest is one of the loveliest chorus lyrics I’ve heard in quite a while.

Tom: I’ll grant you that. And this is definitely a Big Ballad, so I’ll try not to be too disappointed that it isn’t more exciting.

Tim: Well that’s the question – as a ballad, is it a bit boring? Possibly, as it falls into the trap of the interminable second verse – we can cope with a dull first verse in the knowledge that there’s a chorus coming, but the chorus, while enough to sustain itself, doesn’t really bring any momentum to carry us through the next thirty seconds, which it really does need.

Tom: Agreed: it’s just a bit too slow and a bit too plodding to justify waiting on it. That said, full marks for an interesting build to the chorus: that abrupt stuttering sound works very well, far better than I’d have expected if it’d been just described to me.

Tim: On the other hand, it is a lovely chorus, lyrically and musically, and if we could just have a key change at 3:30, I’d not complain at all.

Eric Saade – Boomerang

“Two-step is meant to be a bit unpredictable.”

Tim: As noted the last time we checked in on him, genre-wise he’s still up in the air a bit, and back then he gave us a tedious Justin Timberlake sound-a-like. This time, though? Two-step pop. Yep, that’s right.

Tim: And actually that’s pretty good.

Tom: It is, but two-step is meant to be a bit unpredictable, and this just isn’t. Even that repetitive drum fill seems to have been lifted straight from Tinie Tempah’s “Pass Out”.

Tim: Indeed. It’s not fantastic – there’s little variation throughout, he seems to have missed the memo that that auto-tune-style ‘eh-eh’ went out of fashion three years ago, and I really don’t want to overthink the lyric “Bite in your lips, just right in your Victoria’s Secrets”.

Tom: “You’re like a drug, with a smile on your face.” Hmm. Perhaps more time has been spent on the production than any of the lyrics.

Tim: There’s that – at least it’s not tedious like previously. It was written with the same J-Son who featured in the sonically similar Hearts in the Air a couple of years back, and all in, it’s fairly good pop.

Eric Saade – Forgive Me

It’s a tad tedious, isn’t it?

Tim: Eric, it would appear, doesn’t seem to know what he wants to do, musically – a couple of years back he swore off the wonderfully pop sound of Manboy and the rest of the Masquerade album and headed all Jason Derulo-style (as previously remarked upon), but now, if this track off his next album is anything to go by, he’s done another about turn, and brought us this.

Tim: Problem with it, though: it’s a tad tedious, isn’t it?

Tom: That’s pretty much what I was going to say. If you’re going to turn in a new direction, make sure it’s better than the… one you were going in? That metaphor sort of fell apart for me. But yes. It’s overlong.

Tim: Yes – five minutes is quite something (though if you’re reading this at before having heard it all, literally nothing notable happens after 3:50, so feel free not to subject yourself to it). We don’t need a full minute of repeating chorus at the end, and really not when there’s nothing more to it than any previous choruses. It’s fine having a nice melody, which this does, but if I had control of this I’d say: ditch the second half of each chorus pair – in fact, pretty much chop everything in half.

Tom: Agreed. It’s twice the song it needs to be, and not in a good way.

Tim: I can’t be bothered to listen to the lyrics, but I’m willing to bet they’re not such brilliance that you can’t cut out half of them.

Tom: Damn, that’s harsh. Accurate, though.

Tim: It’d be a much more manageable song, and people probably wouldn’t notice that it’s so dull.

Eric Saade – Winning Ground


Tim: Football!

Tom: Football?

Tim: Nope, me neither. But here’s a song about it anyway, or at least vaguely associated with it – UEFA Women’s Euro 2013.

Tom: Crikey, that’s a minute or two longer than it needs to be.

Tim: You reckon? See, I really like this, but weirdly it took the fake ending to make me realise that. When it ‘finished’, I thought, “Oh, that’s it. Oh well, move on,” but suddenly found myself very happy when it came back for that closing section.

Tom: The middle-eight “look at the stars” was really the only standout part for me: that middle eight promises so much, and the rest of the song just didn’t deliver it.

Tim: Well, I really liked the “oh-oh, we’re winning” chant, but the chorus had seemed somewhat damp and dreary until the end bit, when it suddenly made sense and struck me as somewhat euphoric, especially once I realised the literalness of “calling out for another round, won’t stop now”.

Tom: That final chorus isn’t too bad, I suppose, but it took its time getting there.

Tim: It also became apparent that they missed a trick by not making more of the speedy “calling out for another round” that closes the song, because that’s a very good bit and it should have been used more. So overall, good, but if I hadn’t stuck with it to the end I probably wouldn’t have known that.

Eric Saade – Coming Home

“The first verse of this sounds like something the Backstreet Boys might have released.”

Tim: First single from his fourth album. Previously we’ve had full on pop and vaguely urban dance stuff. Now, though, it seems guitar music is coming back. Who’d have thought it?

Tom: Move on, Tim.

Tim: Never.

Tom: Mind you, the first verse of this sounds like something the Backstreet Boys might have released, so perhaps it’s appropriate to go back to old material.

Tim: Let’s get straight down to business: this is a pretty good track, but, as far as I’m concerned, it has a flaw, which we’ll get to in a sec. We’ll first give a brief nod to the verses, which is all they really deserve, but now come to the chorus.

Tom: It’s a pretty good chorus. What’s up with it?

Tim: The first half – the good, descending “I’ve been on the road…” bit – is excellent. It’s catchy, it’s quick, it’s upbeat, and it would be a great hook to carry the song.

Tom: Agreed. But it can’t?

Tim: No, because apparently the main focus of the song is in fact the less infectious, slower, and in comparison really rather dull, “I’m coooming hoome,” and for me, that’s just not enough to carry the song.

Tom: Hmm. You’re right – and that’s obvious from the fact that the bridge, coming back from that middle eight, is “I’m on the road” and not “coming home”. It’s got plenty of good hooks – and none of them are the “important bit” of the song. Bit of an overreaction to write it off for that, surely?

Tim: Oh, I’m not writing it off at all – it’s a good song, but it’s just let down unfairly by the fact that what’s meant to be the best part of it is fact one of the weakest parts. HOW DISAPPOINTING.