Sunday, July 29, 2007

You could have it, all the beauty, the power

Finland's gone crazy for Ari Koivunen this year. From the moment he sang "Piano Man" in the semifinals for Idols, it was pretty obvious who was going to win that season; anyone who can motivate enough people to run out and download Billy Joel's version of "Piano Man" to make it rise to the top of the download charts just through performing his own version on Idol has clearly created a pretty substantial fanbase for himself. With his debut album Fuel For The Fire still sitting atop Finland's album chart, Ari's become inescapable. Music-wise, though, it's runner-up Anna Abreu that I'm more interested in; while some of Ari's hard rock stylings may not be entirely lacking in pop sensibilities, it's young Anna's material that so far strikes me as the better (for my taste) and interesting of the two. There's still definitely a possibility that she'll go down a road I have little interest in because she's playing with some genres that I can be leery of, but so far it's all led to good music.

End Of Love--I'm really sorry, but this is only a low quality version of the song. Finland drives me crazy music purchasing wise; it's one of those countries that not only do I not know anywhere to buy digital downloads from, I don't know any stores selling actual physical Finnish CDs. The way things are going, though, I'm going to have to find somewhere to buy Anna's CD when it comes out, not only for the music but because I need to know who wrote this song (and the others, I expect; I think it was written by a member of Finnish group the Crash, but I'm not sure). Anna is part Portuguese, so there have been implications that she'll be playing to a Latin part of her heritage in music and she's also expressed an interest in R&B music. When I heard "pop fused with R&B and Latin music," I didn't get particularly excited--that's not exactly at the top of my list of desired musical combinations--but apparently I should have. "End Of Love" must be one of the most unusual mainstream pop offerings from an Idol contestant immediately after the contest. Don't let that sort of cabaret-esque jazzy opening throw you--keep listening and you'll still hear unusual playing with rhythm and effects, but all in the service of interesting and great pop music. In fact, it's the sort of song I'm having difficulty describing, but trust me, take a listen. It's rare that anyone, let alone an Idol contestant, releases a song like this, especially one that manages to have such a solid pop appeal that it wins even me over. Though they don't actually sound similar, I still feel the need to say this: I have no patience for Katharine McPhee's "Love Story" (though I loved "Over It"), but throwback-sounding music can be done and done well, as "End Of Love" shows.

Ivory Tower (Clip)--this is only a snippet of a song, but since Anna is rotating songs on and off her MySpace on a weekly basis, I'm posting this here so that people can hear it after August 1. While "End Of Love" may have somewhat of a hidden chorus, one that sneaks up on you, "Ivory Tower"'s chorus is very obvious and very good; I can see myself having quite the hot and heavy love affair with it for a few days. The meaning of lyrics doesn't really matter to me in most cases, but how they sound--the meaning it sounds like they have, how they fit with the rhythm--does, and this song shows exactly what I mean by that (as does "End Of Love"). I cannot wait for her album (due out August 22, I think), even if only to get my hands on the full version of this song.

As I said, I don't know any Finnish music stores; if anyone else does, please let me know! Since I can't link you to those, I'll point you in the direction of Anna Abreu's MySpace instead.

Next up: maybe that Icelandic singer.


Anonymous said...

Hi! For Finnish music you could try or Anna's cd is previewed here

Poster Girl said...

I've only just noticed this comment, but thank you SO much! Just what I was looking for :)