Jessica Andersson – Party Voice

“And to think they worried schlager was dead…”

Tim: Following yesterday’s mess, allow me to reassure you with this. It’s been fifteen years since she represented Sweden at Eurovision, as part of the duo Fame with the still outstanding Give Me Your Love; let’s have another go, presumably went the logic. And to think they worried schlager was dead…

Tim: And THAT right there is what a 2018 schlager diva looks like. Modern enough that it gets the votes (going direct to the final from its heat), which sadly leaves us without a key change, but still bringing enough of the tropes that every single one of her early ’00s fans will love it.

Because really, what is there not to love? For starters, it’s ALL ABOUT PARTYING and GOING NUTS, like so many of the best songs. There’s pink, there’s an enormous pretend mirrorball at the back, and there are backing dancers throwing their hands around in the full and certain knowledge that they are FABULOUS.

Tom: They are, but whoever did the live mixing for this had some problems. The vocals are buried in the mix, and that combined with her vocal quality means that she sounds a bit strained. She’s probably not — but that doesn’t matter when you’ve got one chance to impress everyone. Plus, good luck with getting those vocal samples past the Eurovision rules.

Tim: You say that, but with currently musical trends that’s a rule in dire need of revision, as a trip to Norway’s post chorus last year will demonstrate.

I will say that the ‘dance like a mother’ line does stand out a bit – I’m guessing they were going for being a bit cheeky, but without that immediate thought it just sounds really weird. Like, what does it even mean?

Tom: Yep, I was going to point that out. I think I know what they were aiming for, but… well, they missed.

Tim: Other than that: GLORIOUS.

Tom: IT’S OKAY I GUESS.

Saturday Flashback: Magnus Carlsson & Jessica Andersson – En stilla väntan

“I’m a sucker for a good male/female duet”

Tim: So this is one I really wanted to feature last year, but held off doing in case a proper video ever appeared; twelve months on, that’s seeming unlikely, so here’s a live version.

Tim: Upsettingly, I’ve no idea at all what the song’s about – can’t find any lyrics online, and I can’t even find a decent title translation that makes sense. On the other hand, it sounds bloody lovely, as I’m a sucker for a good male/female duet, and with those gorgeous strings rolling around in the background it’s giving me nice memories of Tor & Bettan, a Reject that’s still up in my top ten as a frequent listen.

Tom: Huh. For me, it’s just… well, it’s background music, really. Apart from that instrumental bit coming out of the chorus that sounds a bit like the theme tune to The Champions. Why do you like it so much?

Tim: This is a beautiful song, particularly with the rhythm in that wonderfully strong chorus, topped off with that lovely middle eight, and I really do love it.

Jessica Andersson – Rain On Me

“CAN WE PLEASE NOT THINK ABOUT ANY LYRICS EVER AGAIN.”

Tim: So, you know how sometimes you get tracks that kick in fairly early on and you just think “oh, yes, this’ll be alright”? Yeah, that, basically.

Tim: Because seven seconds in, you’ve pretty much got a decent idea of where the song’s going to end up.

Tom: Somewhere startlingly close to “My Life Will Suck Without You”. Not that close, but clearly on the same formula.

Tim: Yes – it’s immediately a song you know will definitely be worth your time, with a big vocal in the chorus, along with those same guitars and probably a good drumbeat or two, which’ll return in a slightly lower form for the second verse. Middle eight’s up for grabs a bit, although it’ll end with a quiet, possibly even acapella, redo of the chorus, and then everything comes back in. And what do you know? That’s pretty much exactly what happens.

Tom: Mind you, those lyrics seem to have the same problem as a certain Jedward track.

Tim: Oh, please don’t remind me of that, though with lyrics “I wanna get soaking wet” and “I wanna swim in your ocean” is hard to deny a possible thematic similarity. But CAN WE PLEASE NOT THINK ABOUT ANY LYRICS EVER AGAIN, because musically, there’s a simple reason you get formulas in songs: they work, and nowhere is that more evident than here – the music is, after all, really rather good.

Jessica Andersson – Ge Inte Upp

“Hear this, and be energised.”

Tim: Hear this, and be energised.

Tim: What a lovely, lovely track this is.

Tom: Now I disagree there, but I can’t put my finger on why. I suspect this might just be my personal taste getting in the way: it certainly ticks all the boxes.

Tim: It really does. A great chorus. Brilliant instrumentation (with multiple guitars, you’ll notice). An excellent voice. And a cracking key change. I don’t think there’s anything more we need from a song, is there?

Tom: Well, it depends on the song. If we were looking at a concept album by Jack White, for instance, perhaps we’d be looking for narrative consistency and some experimental materials.

Tim: You might – I’d be wanting a decent key change.

Tom: Fortunately, this isn’t a concept album by Jack White, so I suspect we’re all good.

Tim: Pretty much, yes, although I suppose we could complete the set with a nice inspiring message in the lyrics; it’s fortunate, then, that the title means “Don’t Give Up”, and so we have our full house. Wonderful, more like this please.