Friday, October 27, 2006

How you gonna run at the speed of sound?

Reading about Christmas over at the Zapping has me dying to post some Christmas pop songs I love, but I really have to try to hold out until's tough, though, so, to distract myself, we'll look at one of those singers from Sweden I keep saying I'm going to talk about: Christian Walz. There's a good chance people already know him from his hit single (well, in Sweden, at least) "Wonderchild," but his second album (I haven't heard the first) Paint By Numbers is great as a whole, even if "Wonderchild" is the standout song. Even though his music is pop, I probably wouldn't call it "poppy;" it's also got a tiny hint of an experimental edge to it. His voice is very distinctive, but it works well for his style.

Wonderchild--I can almost guarantee that this will far and away be the most downloaded song out of all of these; it's the most radio-friendly song on Paint By Numbers and the one that draws you in the quickest. Someone over on the Popjustice forums used to always say that Daniel Bedingfield should cover it (which I always loved reading, for some reason), and I think I can see where they're coming from--his voice would work well with the song and it is in a style similar to some of Daniel's songs (but not that of "Gotta Get Thru This" or "If You're Not The One"). Whether you like Daniel Bedingfield's songs or not, though, give this great song a chance--it'll soon be stuck in your head. From those opening strums to the following melody to the "OHhhH-OHhhH-Wonderchild" chorus, it's catchy. That said, it won't be to everyone's taste, probably because of the song's slightly unusual edge.

No No--the first minute of this four minute song is pretty odd. The whole thing isn't like that, though, so at least keep listening past that first minute--it turns into something pretty catchy, though not aggressively so; the words probably won't get stuck in your head, but there's something mildly addictictive about that chorus, with its piano, little swirls, Christian's simple but repeated lyrics, and all the other little sound effects going on that I can't begin to pinpoint. It's not the sort of song you'd put on when you're looking for something to sing along to, but it's far more than background music.

You Look All The Same--this is a slightly more "traditional" song than "No No," but it style has this certain distinctive Christian Walz vibe that I'm having trouble describing--maybe a bit of experimentalness and a bit of soul added to pop? No, that's not quite it. It's got this layered chorus that, once again, somehow manages to be catchy without actually having this out-in-your-face, you-must-listen-to-me hook.

To buy Christian Walz's second album, Paint By Numbers, go here (physical) or here (digital). If you like these songs, I really recommend it, because it's pretty consistently good.

If you're not already reading pop blog Digital Technique, you should be, and you absolutely must pop over there and read the most recent post. Not only has it reminded me how good Uniting Nations' "You And Me" is, it's introduced me to a song that, though I've had it practically on constant repeat for the past several days, I still love: "Follow You, Follow Me." A reworking by Sonny Jones and Tara Chase (who raps, but it's that light sort of rap that, with this music, works well) of the Genesis song, it's got this light but catchy beat, is far better than the 30 second iTunes preview I heard of the Genesis song (I am not insulting Phil Collins; I really like his cover of "You Can't Hurry Love"), and feels like the sort of song that you should be swaying along with and clapping to at a concert.

Thank goodness for Pierre over at the Popjustice forums, who asked a question that has really made me really happy. I'd loved the clip of the McFly song "Lose It" that had leaked, but was disappointed to see "Lose It" not on the tracklisting for Motion In The Ocean. I hoped, though, that it would reappear in a renamed form (as "Star Girl" did)--and apparently, it's going to! "Lose It" has become "Friday Night" and will be on the album.

Next up: we might continue with the Swedish singers.


Rose said...

Yay, I'm happy that 'Lose It' is on MITO. I screamed when I saw the tracklisting and didn't see it listed lol.

Paul said...

hmmm, we are liking Christian Waltz (great name, good tunes, semi good hair, ok look).... and good news re: McFly - only a week to wait or less if it inevitably leaks about wednesday...

Poster Girl said...

Rose, I'm with you--from the clip, it sounds like a brilliant song! I can't wait to hear the full version, although, if the lyrics are different, it'll sound a little weird at first :) I'm just glad it's there, though!

Paul, I am going to have such a big dilemma whenever Motion In The Ocean leaks--listen to it then, or wait for the real copy to finally arrive (which will probably be two weeks after it's actually released)? I'm going to try to wait, but it's going to drive me crazy!