Wednesday, November 01, 2006

You've been stealing since the first day

Today, we go back to Sweden to check in with another male singer: Martin Stenmarck (who I had an awful time finding decent-sized pictures of). "7milakliv," a mid-tempo pop-rock song that gives no real hint of his musical theater background (he was even once rumored to be considering playing Aragorn in the musical version of Lord Of The Rings, and he certainly looks the part), has been a big hit in Sweden lately, and it's still near the top of the charts. Before that, he was known mainly for representing Sweden in Eurovision in 2005 with "Las Vegas," a very Las Vegas-y, almost Tom Jones-esque song that was his only other real commercial hit in Sweden. Even if you don't like either of those songs, though, listen to this one--it's more like "7milakliv" than "Las Vegas," but it's far better.

I'm Falling--that success "7milakliv" is having? It--and much more--rightfully belongs to the uptempo (some have said it sounds like a faster, stronger version of the Calling's "Wherever You Will Go") "I'm Falling," from Martin's critically-praised but criminally overlooked debut album One (I suspect most people don't even realize his new album 9 Sanningar och En Lögn is his third album [excluding his children's album]); One faded away with very little impact on the general public. I think two singles--"Losing Game" and "The Cure For You"--were released off of One, vanishing pretty much without a trace. That's a shame, but the real shame is that this song was never a single (I think it was a single in Germany, where it hit #1, but I can't find record of it having been released in Sweden, or if it was, I don't think it charted).

"I'm Falling" should unquestionably be a radio classic, and not just in Sweden; there are some radio stations in the U.S. that should or would lap it up. It is rock, or at least rockier than what I normally post, but genre should place no limits on the recognition of a good song, and this is far more than a good song; additionally, I think it's also definitely pop. You're hooked from the very opening, with those guitars and the distant echoey voice that still somehow hints at the power to come. Then you get to the first verse, and the guitars tone down for a moment, but with those lyrics ("God, I'm so stupid"--the lyrics generally aren't revolutionary, but they work well and are sung with conviction) and Martin's delivery--strong but with a touch of self-anger or self-disgust, as well as rebuke (for who? the girl who broke his heart or himself?)--you know something big must be coming. And then, finally, we get to the chorus, and it's like a release--all that mixed-up anger and rebuke come out in a shouted but not shouty couple of words--it's enough to make me want to grab a mike stand just so I can do the rocker tilt-it-to-one-side thing and shout along with him. It's so simple, yet so powerful and so perfect. Martin has such a perfect voice for this kind of music, smooth but strong, appealing and yet perfectly capable of expressing emotion, only hinting at a rasp once in the song. It's rock, but it's not hard rock, and it actually has a melody and hooks and is perfectly radio-friendly. How was this not a hit? Why was it not released? If I ever run my own radio station, this is getting a lot of play (and I don't care if it doesn't fit in with Gareth Gates and A*Teens). "I'm Falling" is perfect for everything--for radio, for headphones, for blasting out of your car, for stereos, for concerts--everything. You must hear this song.

(It's also worth noting that, on the promotional copies of One, "I'm Falling" was labeled "Thief," so it's sometimes referred to that way.)

Buy the album. OK, so if you're only into "pure pop," it probably won't appeal to you, but it is ridiculously good--get it here (physical) while you still can. I'll review it in more detail later (it's so good--cohesive, powerful, the proper proportion of ballads, and catchy)--but, right now, I'm so in love with "I'm Falling" that, whenever I try to listen to the rest of it, I end up skipping back to "I'm Falling."

For anyone looking forward to the new McFly album, you can read a track-by-track review of it here; I don't dare take the star ratings at face value (though I hope they are accurate!), but at the very least, it'll give you an idea of what to expect. Motion In The Ocean sounds brilliant.

Next up: I'll be gone from Thursday through Sunday, so the next post won't be until Monday--maybe a well-known US singer.


POPtastic (Jessica) said...

I had most of the songs but was missing five tracks. Thank you so much for the album =)

Enjoy your trip!!!

- Jessica

J'ason D'luv said...

Yeah, I'd do this guy, too. Keep 'em coming...

Paul said...

no J'ason! NO! I mean he's clearly a criminal - look, he already offed the poor old lady who tried to enjoy his carnal hips...

PPG _ you know i can't cope when you are away ;)

J'ason D'luv said...

I'll pull the trigger on his illegal weapon.

Poster Girl said...

Thanks, Jessica, and you're welcome! I did enjoy my trip :)

J'ason--good, we (we? I) aim to please around here ;) If he wasn't doing so well in Sweden right now, I would definitely say he needs to be stolen over here to the US (for multiple reasons).

Aww, Paul, and thanks...I believe that lady is royalty, as well! Some people go for the criminal/bad boy type, though.