Paul Rey – Mistakes

“The thing that impresses me most about it is how, whenever he’s singing, there’s really very little instrumentation going on underneath.”

Tim: Paul had a somewhat decent Melodifestivalen entry this year which got him through to the final; I don’t know why he didn’t go with this one, though, as it’s much better and he’d only need to chop a few seconds off.

Tim: The PR bumf for this comes with the line “I wanted to pay homage to the ‘ugly side’ of a relationship”, and so I was initially “oh, great because no-one’s done that before”, but I decided, against all my natural cynical instincts, to give it a good chance, and I’m glad I did.

Tom: I’m not convinced it’d work as a Eurovision track, but I’ll agree that it’s a better song. There are some lovely choices by both composer and producer in that chorus.

Tim: The thing that impresses me most about it is how, whenever he’s singing, there’s really very little instrumentation going on underneath – a light guitar in the verse, a drumbeat in the chorus – and so the vast majority of the song it carried solely by his vocal and the floaty underline bit (there’s probably a better name for it but you know what I mean), and both of those sound good, for individual reasons.

The voice, because it’s strong, emotive and powerful, and the floaty bit (yep, sticking with it) because it gives a lovely pleasant ambience to the song.

Tom: Right! And both singer and producer need confidence in those vocals in order to put them this clearly in the mix. I’m not sure it’s necessarily “stripped-down” instrumentation, which was the term I was going to use — it’s just produces so it backs up the vocals rather than competes with them.

Tim: So we’re given two things to focus on, both of which work well – and I think that’s a good recipe for a song.

Paul Rey – What Good Is Love

“Should there be rules about massive choirs?”

Tim: Well, Tom? What good is love? I ask because Paul Rey off Sweden seems quite keen to find out.

Tom: That is the best chorus I’ve heard in a while. A long while. Normally I would be complaining that there’s nothing else in the song – because there isn’t – but that chorus is so good I don’t care. I couldn’t just remember it afterwards: I was singing along before the song ended.

Tim: It is indeed wonderful, but I have a question: are there rules about when you can use massive choirs? Because part of me thinks there should be, that you ought to somehow earn them and build to them rather than just plonking them in midway through the song with a “let’s liven this up” attitude. Now don’t get me wrong, I like it here, but I’m not sure it should be there right from the first chorus.

Tom: It totally should, because otherwise — huh, yeah, I see where you’re going with this.

Tim: Right? It works, yes, but then it’s got nowhere really to go, or build to. I can’t help wondering if I might prefer it if, say, that first chorus was just him, the second chorus introduced the backing males on his “what good is love when it’s over”, and then the choir crusaded in triumphantly out of the middle eight.

Having said that, of course, if that was the cut we’d got, I might be arguing for the exact opposite right now, and that it should be there from the start. I’d like to try it, though.

Tom: Some songs are growers. The catch with just listening to tracks one or two times before talking about them here is that we don’t know if that’s the case – but in this case it’s the opposite problem.

Tim: Like, a shrinker?

Tom: This is an absolutely brilliant track on first listen, but will I get bored of it, and start to hate that incredibly catchy chorus? Ask me again in a week; in the meantime, this is on my playlist.

Paul Rey – Good As Hell

“Wants to have a bit of a boast.”

Tim: As ‘PJ’ he was a rapper a few years back.

Tom: So was one half of Ant and Dec. I’m assuming that this PJ’s moved on to another career too?

Tim: Indeed – with a rebranding as Paul Rey, he’s a pop singer, who right now wants to have a bit of a boast.

Tim: To be honest, though, I don’t begrudge him that because he seems a nice enough guy and it’s nice when people are happy (even if it has taken him several years to get over someone). Despite giving up the rapping, he still seems very much leaning towards the speaking side of pop rather than singing, though I’m fairly sure that works in his favour. The lyrics are much easier to pay attention to, and for a large part they’re all the song’s about.

Tom: That’s true, but if you’re doing that, you really need the rest of the song to be somewhat melodic, or at least a bit catchy, and I just don’t think it manages that.

Tim: Oh, really? Because come the second half of the chorus, TUNE, so I suppose really this song has everything it needs. Some would no doubt care for more —

Tom: You’re right there.

Tim: — I’m happy as it is, though.