Lena Philipsson – Du Ljuger

“Aaaagh, come on.”

Tim: The title translates to ‘You’re Lying’, and never before has a song given me so many moments of “aaaagh, come on”.

Tom: Music videos are vertical now. Right. Okay. That’s a thing. Pity they just put a phone on a cheap gimbal, and asked her to walk about a bit really, but never mind. ANYWAY. The music.

Tim: Now, don’t get me wrong: what is there in the song is really, really good. This does, in fact, have the potential to be one of my favourite songs of the year.

Tom: Really? I feel like “have the potential” is doing a lot of heavy lifting in there. You’re right that there are decent elements in the track…

Tim: BUT, there are so many bits that should be there, but aren’t. That moment at 1:02 that is crying out for a big dance breakdown. It kind of gets there after the second chorus, but it still doesn’t quite hit its full potential. And worst of all, that ending. Sure, an abrupt ending is okay, it’s happened before. But I don’t think I’ve ever heard one like this.

Tom: Yep. Everything about this feels a bit unfinished, in big and small ways.

Tim: You’re coming out of the middle eight, you have a quiet bit, BUT THEN YOU HAVE A LOUD CLOSING CHORUS. IT IS THE LAW OF POP MUSIC. DAMN YOU LENA, YOU BROKE THE LAW.

Lena Philipsson – Gråt inga tårar

“Timpani hits!”

Tim: Back to the good stuff, and let’s have this from Lena – in case you need an intro, she’s Swedish, has been going over thirty years, representing Sweden at Eurovision 12 years ago, and this here, translating as Shed No Tears, is her second release from album number 13.

Tim: Starts big, stays big, and indeed basically just is big.

Tom: Timpani hits! There are timpani hits in there, I think, or something very close to them. Not something you hear in pop music since… well, since Aqua, perhaps?

Tim: Quite possibly. It’s not a modern sound by any standards, but it’s picking up plenty of plays on Sweden’s equivalent of Radio 2 so the target market clearly like it, and I do too.

Tom: I know I’ve heard something very similar to the first line of that chorus before in a few places, but I don’t give a damn. It’s a really good first line.

Tim: Not a huge amount more to say about it, really – it’s a good track, more or less exactly as we’d really expect from anybody still going strong for as long as she has. Great to know she’s still got it, and here’s to albums 14, 15, and all the rest.

Lena Phillipsson – Du Följar Väl Med (SoundFactory Pride Mix)

Ehh. Don’t know what to think.

Tim: Official Stockholm Pride 2012 anthem, this is, and a remix of a single from earlier this year.

Tim: Ehh. Don’t know what to think. It’s big, it’s brash, it’s dancey – at least, it is for the most part.

Tom: Well, mainly the second part.

Tim: Yes, that’s the problem – the first verses just seem a bit dull, which is a real shame. When pretty much everything from two minutes on is as big as it is, it just seems a shame to waste the first half of the track, when you could build this up into something right from the start, especially if you’re making a remix. They’ve already made it significantly more lively than the (not remotely dull to start with) original, but, why not go all the way?

Tom: I think part of this might be the compression we’re hearing on the web version – it seems rather low-quality and dull, as if it’s been crushed within an inch of its life. I rarely hold truck with the audiophiles who claim there’s a major difference with MP3 audio… but I wouldn’t mind hearing a slightly higher-bandwidth version of it.

Tim: Yes, that may be part of it. It also doesn’t help that I have no idea what the lyrics are. Google isn’t hugely helpful with the title, and I can’t find actual lyrics anywhere. WHY CAN’T I SPEAK SWEDISH?

Lena Philipsson feat. Dead by April – Dancing in the Neon Light

A bit different.

Tim: Older Melodifestivalen fans than us may be able to cast their minds back to 1987 and Lena Philipsson’s performance of a rather good Swedish song entitled ‘Dansa i Neon‘.

Tom: That’s some proper eighties hair, that is. And it’s a proper eighties song. It’s got chord progressions and melody lines that have been used a thousand times since and will no doubt be used a thousand times more.

Tim: Now jump forward twenty four years to a reworked and translated performance in the interval that got such a good reception it’s being released as a single.

Tim: A bit different, yes?

Tom: If it wasn’t for those two lines at the start of the chorus, I’m not sure I’d even realise it was the same song.

Tim: I actually quite like this, despite (or possibly because of) the weird genre splicing; similarly it’s nice hearing the key change, partly because it really doesn’t belong in a song like this.

Tom: It’s got something of Evanescence about it: the combination between traditional female vocals and proper black-metal screaming. I’m not sure the screaming actually fits in, but it’s a fantastic cover version and – in my view – better than the original.

Tim: Admittedly I don’t see it being an iPod mainstay, but for the novelty factor alone it gets a thumbs up from me.

Tom: And from me.