Robin Bengtsson – Born To Love

“At least you were spared the heartbreak.”

Tim: Came out a few weeks ago, and while it’s not a Christmas track it does take place on a cold dark night in December, so I figured it could wait. And be warned: there’s emotion here, so you might want to keep the tissues nearby.

Tom: If a Christmas track actually raises any sort of deep emotion from my cold, cold heart, Tim — even sympathy or sadness — you can consider “Can We Get Tom Feeling Festive” a success. I don’t hold out much hope.

Tim: Now, it’s not often I get emotionally involved with a track – the last time I can remember it happening, in fact, was when Gary and Agnetha reminisced five years ago (and incidentally, the lyric video gave that the happy ending I was wanting, so that’s lovely). But this track, for some reason, really got to me, and I hadn’t even been drinking. Truth is, it’s a beautiful song – the melody is fantastic, his vocal really sells it, and then there’s the lyrics.

Tom: I’ll be honest, reader: given the setup and that we’re only three songs into the month, you can probably figure out where my response is going here.

Tim: Thing is, I don’t want this sad ending. I want him to change – or rather, I want him to realise that actually, she can change him. He’s not found anyone yet, but instead of giving up, the song’s target persists, and eventually he realises he was born to love. He was born to have a fantastic life, born to marry this fantastic person, born to have beautiful kids, and, sixty years down the line, born to be spending the cold dark nights in December in a lovely warm cottage, surrounded by a devoted family. So keep the first few verses – paint him as a tragic figure. But towards the end, fiddle with the lyrics, Robin. Give yourself some hope, some sign of a future, so that you’re not living in yesterday’s house at the end of the road. Because dammit, it’s Christmas. Can’t you try for some happiness?

Tom: I’m sure that was a heartwarming suggestion, Tim, but unfortunately half way through the track I fell asleep.

Tim: Well in that case at least you were spared the heartbreak.

Robin Bengtsson – I Wanna Fall In Love Again

“It’s the sort of Sheeran-esque guitar faffing that I can’t stand. But then, there’s that chorus.”

Tim: F-bombs ahead on the latest track from him off Eurovision 2017; that song was dire, but I think you’ll find this one worth your time.

Tom: Listening to the intro of that, I had absolutely no idea why you thought I might like it. It’s the sort of Sheeran-esque guitar faffing that I can’t stand. But then, there’s that chorus.

Tim: I kind of want to split this in two, really, because the bits that are good (with the brass, the drumbeats, claps, extra vocals) are very good; the bits that aren’t good (just him over a lightly strummed guitar) are very not good. It’s not the first song that’s come along like this, obviously, but there aren’t many I can recall where there’s quite such an extreme difference between the two, and it’s frustrating.

Tom: There’s clearly a market for it, but I just can’t see why. And I’m not sure how I feel about that brass sample in the chorus, either.

Tim: I hear it on a playlist or whatever, not paying much attention, and think “ooh, this sounds good”; then I look it up, and, well, it’s like this. SHAME ON YOU ROBIN.

Robin Bengtsson – Cross The Universe

“I promise you it gets better, so just work through it. “

Tim: This starts out like a very dull Ed Sheeran-style track. I promise you it gets better, so just work through it.

Tim: And actually, I’m probably being a tad unfair on that opening bit, but if we’re honest it doesn’t bode well.

Tom: I just started singing “Wonderwall” over the top, and that got me through it.

Tim: Not a bad song to sound like, though. And never mind what it bodes, because that chorus is brilliant. It’s upbeat, it’s quite catchy, it’s the sort that makes you stop typing so you can play the drums on your desk, really.

Tom: As long as you’re not playing them on your keyboard.

Tim: I don’t know – probably wouldn’t make much less sense that most of what we write. drtdkhjefw4hilg rjkn∂©®ß`tlk ngrsjknrj nkkjngrs`njgr`lknrgjnrs l’r3jnbfljknfxthxfbj negw`njklzrgd ndfb. You see?

Anyway, and then there’s the background vocals in the closing section, which are lovely because they’re quite understated but they make so much difference. Lovely.

Tom: Surprisingly good middle-eight as well: it feels like the instrumentation’s been nicked from something else during it, but I can’t think what – and it does work, anyway.

Tim: This track actually made me realise something – I am vastly inconsistent with what I say I want in a track. Just now, I said I don’t actually mind that quiet opening, but if it was in a different track or by a different artist (to pick one totally at random, Ed Sheeran) I may well be getting incredibly angry with.

Tom: Ultimately, there is no objective way to analyse music – and both our opinions will be shaped by so many transient factors that… hm. Well, I was going to say ‘we’re wasting our time here’, but I think we both knew that anyway.

Tim: I don’t quite know why – it seems that if I like a song I’ll appreciate all elements of it, but if I don’t like it I’ll use every part of it to criticise it. Basically, I have no idea what I want in a song – I just want a song that I like.

Tom: And on that, I can agree.