Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I want you to bring back...the keys, the chords, the beats, the words

Back to young Finnish singer Anna Abreu (original post here) today, and credit to FMSM for the songs. Even if Anna's self-titled debut album is not the most consistent thing you'll ever hear, the bright spots are pretty bright, made even more so by the potential they hint at--Anna could pursue a style different from most (or any) other former Idol contestants. Some ex-contestants just don't sound like any other contestant in terms of chosen style and maybe it's because I think Anna could be one of these that I tend to skip past most of her "club banger" style tracks, even though they in and of themselves aren't terrible, but I think it's more that I just don't totally buy them coming from her. Maybe it's a case of me trying to pigeonhole her into what I want her to sound like, but I think she'd be better off ditching both the "Are You Ready"/"Bad Girl" clubby attitude-filled tracks and the "ooo, look, she's part Portuguese, let's use that as a selling point!" Portuguese language tracks (not that I have any problem with someone wanting to be true to their heritage if that truly is what's happening, but "Solta-Se O Bejo" just feels so generic "Latin sounding track" that I'm sure there are better ways to do so). Or at least getting some better ones. "Stressed Out" and "Unsatisfiable" seem like better fits to me, but I'd still say the two best songs on the album are lead single "End Of Love" and "Ivory Tower."

Ivory Tower--I'm posting this one first just because I'm guessing people heard "End Of Love" when I posted it earlier, but if you haven't, skip to that and listen to it first, since it really is..."statement of intent" isn't the right expression since I wouldn't say it closely reflects the rest of the album, but I'd like to say in the future, when I look back at the beginning of her career, "yup, you could really see how great she was going to be based on that first single." As for "Ivory Tower," it's a mid-tempo song with a strong backing beat, finger snaps, and a catchy melody coupled with lyrics that plead but, when coupled with that strong beat, can't help but have an interesting combination of desperation and strength. Maybe appropriately for a song with a title like this and that occasionally drops in a magic metaphor or two, there's a hint of mystery to it as well. Most importantly to me, though, it's just catchy in a good distinctive way and has lyrics that sound good in the song; regardless of what they mean, they give the song the right "aura." And yes, Anna does randomly switch to Portuguese for a bit.

End Of Love--I'm a bit fascinated by this song because it's just so unusual-sounding, especially when you consider that it's the debut single from a mainstream Idol contestant. From that cabaret-type opening to the piano that runs throughout the song to its strange structure (wait, are we in the chorus now?) and strange rhythms to the what-are-they-talking-about lyrics, it's sort of an experiment of a song, but it's an experiment that works. Gotta love the sort of ghostly female backing vocals, too.

I just noticed today that I had this store and this store recommended to me in the comments for buying Finnish records (thanks so much!); I haven't had the opportunity to check them yet, but they look good and both are selling Anna Abreu's album Anna Abreu.

Next up: maybe that American group.


Samuel said...

An AMERICAN group!

Are you crazy!?

Poster Girl said...

I KNOW! And--get this--female lead singer! Well, on this song, at least. What is the world coming to?!