Julie Bergan – U Got Me

“CYNICAL MODE: ENGAGED”

Tim: At the risk of turning you overly cynical here, I’ll quote from Julie: “Recently I fell in love for the very first time, and I realised how that actually feels… I’ve always been a person that’s been in control of my feelings, but in this song I let go of that. It’s amazing and terrifying all at the same time. Just like being in love.”

Tom: CYNICAL MODE: ENGAGED

Tim: And I’ll be honest, I was all ready to dislike this from the drippy nature of the intro, but I really really like it.

Tom: Why on earth? It’s not just the intro that’s drippy, it’s the entire first v… hmm. There is something about that chorus, isn’t there?

Tim: Yes, but also the whole instrumentation, and how unusual it is. I can’t, off the top of my head, think of another strings and piano ballad that also includes distorted vocal samples and those synth patches, and yet now I hear it, they seem to work really well together.

And it’s nice, because the song would probably work perfectly fine without them – it wouldn’t be anything special, but it could have been released and as a love ballad would have been entirely adequate. Adding those in, though, and you’ve got a ballad style that’s been updated for the late ’10s, and it sounds great.

Tom: I’m not on board with it to that extent. If I say it’s all a bit too Fisher-Price, does that make sense? A lot of the composition feels like a kid just going plink-plink-plink on a piano. I recognise there’s actually a really talented pianist playing that — it’s not a slight on the talent, just on the melody itself.

But yes, I’ll grant you there’s something about the instrumentation. It’s got a string section, so yes, sure, I’ll agree that it sounds good.

Tim: However sickening you might find the message.

K-391 & Alan Walker feat. Julie Bergan & Seungri – Ignite

“Alan in a room with a floating consciousness influencing him with invisible brainwaves.”

Tim: Easy intros first: Alan (producer) and Julie (female vocals) are both Swedish, and we’ve featured them before; Seungri (male vocals) is Korean, and we haven’t. Now, K391: a Norwegian ‘artist’, and I think it’s best if I quote from his website: “The artist called K-391 conceptualizes your musical getaway in the shape of a unique headset.”

Tom: You what.

Tim: Well, quite. It continues: “Instead of an actual person or group of people, K-391 is an innovative headset that is the living embodiment of its creator, functioning as a portal to another reality. When ignited, K-391 enables your escape from reality, with music as the vehicle and the destination only limited by your imagination.” Sounds a bit wanky, I know, but let’s listen to the music (and watch the demonstrative video) before judging him on that.

Tim: As with many tracks with multiple producers, I have no real idea who’s responsible for what – it’s entirely feasible that the K-391 construct provided the melody and Alan Walker provided the rave music, but equally I could be way, way off and it was Alan in a room with a floating consciousness influencing him with invisible brainwaves.

Tom: Or it could just be marketing junk. I’m going to assume that until proven otherwise.

Tim: Either way, they’ve come up with a perfectly serviceable dance track, with some excellent RAVE portions in it.

Tom: I swear I’ve heard that pre-chorus somewhere before, but yes, I suppose “perfectly serviceable” sums it up. It’s a little bit stock-music in places, but then when you have this many people (and, presumably, one artificial construct) working on a track, perhaps that’s always going to happen.

Tim: And, let’s face it, a video that does a good job of showing off exactly what they mean, and how music can help as a means of escapism. So however silly sounding their introduction is, I won’t begrudge anyone that. Nice work.

Julie Bergan – Younger

“You’re going to die soon.”

Tim: Tom, I hope you’re not feeling particularly old today, because if you are this probably isn’t the song for you.

Tim: No, Julie, we’re not getting any younger. Thank you for pointing that out so vividly.

Tom: And repeatedly.

Tim: Quite. It’s weird, really, because while that can often be put to good use as a ‘get out and do stuff’ lyrical vibe, here (and I’m not sure why) it just seems to be ‘you’re going to die soon’, which I’m not really sure is something I want blasted in my face at however many decibels (regardless of how pretty brilliant it is musically).

Tom: And I’m not sure it’s brilliant musically either: it’s certainly a powerful chorus — and I’m a sucker for a well-used “heeyyyy” sample — but it does go on a bit.

Tim: I don’t know, I don’t get that. Back to the age thing (which apparently I don’t seem to be able to let go of), it might be the surrounding lyrics – aside from ‘scream, shout, fire up this show’ there’s no real incitement, and let’s be honest screaming, shouting, and setting fire to things is exactly what someone’s who’s only got ten minutes to live may well do.

So, you know, lovely music in the chorus, but I’d rather have a happy message next time, if that’s okay?