Friday, April 06, 2007

Feeling your heart beat beside me

By the time 2005 rolled around, it had been years since Selma had released any music by herself; yes, there had been a few songs on children's albums, but they weren't singles, and they really don't count. She'd spent the time continuing to do musicals (of course) and helping contestants on Iceland's version of Pop Idol, among other things. In 2005, though, she was chosen by internal selection to represent Iceland at Eurovision with the song "If I Had Your Love." Despite having an excellent song, she didn't make it out of the semifinals, for which people have variously blamed the song itself, the camera work, the performance/choreography, her outfit, or just bad luck; regardless, she definitely deserved better. Since then, the only thing I know about her is that she's done some more musicals, which is a shame--I would've loved another album from her, especially if this sort of song was the jumping-off point for it.

If I Had Your Love--if it wasn't for the apparently inevitable "Toxic" comparisons (which this song always drew), "If I Had Your Love" would still be an amazing single for any of the well-established female singers of today; it definitely works outside of the Eurovision context. Though poppy and maybe even frothy, it should (at least musically, if probably not lyrically) even appeal to people who like to analyze their pop music. The song switches tempos frequently, mid-tempo to down-tempo to up-tempo, and tosses in what might be Arabic influences, strings, and a beat that ranges from prowling to dance-pop depending where you are in the song. It's pretty much as fantastic and fabulous as a song can be. I like the concept for the music video, too--it's got Selma running around with a Cupid-esque bow and arrow, trying to shoot the guy she loves but continually missing and breaking things.

You can get Selma's song "If I Had Your Love" on the Eurovision 2005 album, which you can buy here (physical) or here (digital).

Next up: probably a group that I think is German.

Footnote for this whole series: all of this information is pieced together from what I've read online--I wasn't even listening to music when Selma released her last single, let alone paying attention to Icelandic music--so please let me know if any of it is wrong.


kevin (ru) said...

I have her ESC single with both full and karaoke versions of this brilliant thing. And also I got Selma's autograph, something like "To [my real name] from Selma with love :)".

Speaking of Icelandic pop goddesses, don't miss Svala.

Jamie said...

I loved 'If I had your love' but she looked proper shocking on the night. What inspired her to wear that paige boy gettup is beyond me.

Poster Girl said...

Oh, lucky you! And it's so funny you mention Svala--writing about Selma did get me thinking about her, but I've only got her first album and was wondering if I should investigate her second before writing about her. It seems like it was a pretty substantial change in style, which could be good or bad.

You know, I really have no idea.

londonboy79 said...

In my opinion, 'If I Had Your Love' is vastly superior to 'All Out of Luck'... I just can't see why it didn't get through the semis. I was tipping it for victory all the way.

I don't think it's about her clothing on the night... I think it's neighbourly voting patterns personally, which also explains why Silvia Night didn't get through last year.

Poster Girl said...

That probably is a good explanation. I very much agree with you about "If I Had Your Love" versus "All Out Of Luck," though--the former is really excellent and, though I like the latter, I'm far more likely to listen to "If I Had Your Love" (which still holds up even today).