Felix Sandman – Miss You Like Crazy

“Well, there’s a name that Peter Dickson would enjoy shouting on the X Factor.”

Tom: Well, there’s a name that Peter Dickson would enjoy shouting on the X Factor.

Tim: Felix, you may or may not remember, came close to representing Sweden at Eurovision last year with an incredibly dull track. Here, not so much. Although, well, have a listen.

Tom: Oh, good heavens, video director, you’re producing this for the internet. I know you like cinematic aspect ratios, but that’s just ridiculous.

Tim: See, that’s not a hugely exciting song. It doesn’t get particularly loud or frantic at any point, despite being in a genre that almost demands it, and there’s definitely no YEAH moment. And yet, I really like it.

Tom: That’s because it’s got a brilliant chorus. One that I’m sure I’ve heard all the constituent bits of before elsewhere: there’s shades of Stand By You in there, along with a half dozen other tracks.

Tim: True, actually, because it is partly that melody, which just seems to get me interested, and keep me. I’m now involved in the song, and I like it, and I want to keep listening to it. I still don’t really know what it is, but whatever it is that gets me liking a song, this song has it.

Tom: As ever, it’s a good combination of novelty and familiarity. And, in this case, profanity. I’m less sure about that, though.

Tim: Yeah. Yeah, that’s not so great.

Rhys feat. Felix Sandman – Starfish

“I got a sense that this was about to get special a second or so before it actually did.”

Tim: We’ve only featured one of Rhys’s tracks before, and also only one of Felix’s. Hers we liked; his not so much.

Tom: Liked is an understatement: Last Dance turned out to be one of my favourite tracks of last year.

Tim: Let’s try a combination, then.

Tom: Well, that takes its time to get going, doesn’t it?

Tim: Weirdly, I got a sense that this was about to get special a second or so before it actually did, so I listened back and realised there’s some brilliant production work going on.

The first verse is of the variety that could go either way – massively overblown vocal samples, deep r&b, even tropical, wherever. That pre-chorus makes it a bit clearer, but then it’s the 1 minute point, where there’s a very brief rising string bit, which suddenly drops into an absolutely lovely chorus – and just that tiny bit makes it sound so so good.

Tom: And that chorus, in turn, explains the verse: oh, that’s why it sounds like that. I do reckon that this track would have been better by briefly previewing the chorus at the start — I nearly tuned out — but perhaps it’s just a grower. It’s no Last Dance, but it’s certainly got a spark of the same genius.

Tim: We’ve no lengthy traditional build to get up hopes and expectation that might not be met, nor a really sudden shift, but just a tiny, almost imperceptible interlude, saying ‘hey, you’ll enjoy this’. And I really did. I’d say it’s great anyway, but that one smidgen of a note switched it up to brilliant.

Felix Sandman – Every Single Day (Orchestral Version)

“…promised something wonderful.”

Tim: Felix, aka the F from The Fooo/The Fooo Conspiracy/FO&O, entered the standard version of this for Melodifestivalen, and came a strong second; God knows how, because it’s entirely tedious, with a vocal backed up solely by one gentle piano line and one cello that arrives towards the end.

Tom: You’re not selling this to me, Tim.

Tim: This version, though, is a fair improvement.

Tom: I’ll say this for it: it’s got a promising introduction. Brilliant string section, good vocals, nice composition, and that “do you think of me” promised something wonderful. And then…

Tim: Admittedly it’s still not a brilliant listen – slow, nothing particularly exciting – and it sure as hell shouldn’t go forward to represent any country at Eurovision, but it does provide at lot more to listen to than previously, and comes across as somewhat soothing and calming.

Tom: We’ve actually got a song here where you’re finding it dull and I’m finding it brilliant. That’s rare, here. There are some really nice bits in here: the little flourish on “you’d approve of who I am”, the whole slow build, and an almost-late-Beatles-like transition coming out of the middle eight.

Tim: It is, mind, entirely possible that I’m simply thinking better of this purely in comparison, but, hey. I’m okay with that, as long as it gives me a song to like.

Tom: This is good, and it’s doing exactly what it’s supposed to — but I just find myself wanting a bit more. This is sold as orchestral, not just “we got a string quartet and a couple of other people”. Get a brass section in there for the final chorus! Add someone absolutely whacking the hell out of timpani! Give us a whole orchestra, and this would be one of the best songs I’ve heard this year.