Sunday, September 02, 2007

What if I don't want to forget, don't want anyone but you?

Sometimes a random song justs jump out at you and, whether because of your frame of mind or circumstances finally being right, you suddenly--even if only temporarily--connect with it it. Lene Marlin's "What If" just recently did that for me. The Norwegian singer has released three albums so far, with her debut album, Playing My Game, being by far the biggest hit of the three, but "What If I" comes from the third and, even if it's more cautious than something like, say, "Unforgivable Sinner," I'd say it's at least as good.

What If

Natasha Bedingfield's "I Wanna Have Your Babies" may have captured that bubbly sort of excitement-coupled-with-nervousness that comes with meeting someone who just might be the one--a potential beginning, in other words--but Lene's dealing with something a little more delicate: a potential end. She's had her "beginning" already, and it came with less storybook sweep-you-off-your-feetness than Natasha's, just another relationship, one she thought she could move on from--but that's changed; the hours she's spent with her partner are real ones, not Natasha's fantasized about ones, and there's actual emotional investment here now, as well as the startling realization that she can't move on. Natasha is giggly, giddy on potential but also laughing to disguise her hopes that this could be something real, but Lene, with something actually real, not imagined, to lose, doesn't have that luxury: her emotions, her hopes for the future, are her last and only hope of stopping him from leaving, but what's the point of baring your soul if he's still going to walk out the door? The closest she can come to hiding her emotions, the closest she can come to shielding herself, is by making them sound like hypothetical questions. And so she asks if it would make a difference--"If I said I want you, if I said I need you, if I said I love you, what would you do?" Rarely has such a scary situation been sung about with such simplicity and sweetness as it is in this guitar strumming-backed half ballad that few singers but Lene and her voice could have pulled off.

To buy Lene Marlin's third album, Lost In A Moment, go here (physical) or here (digital).

Next up: maybe American dance-pop.

(Picture credit to


Rachel said...

I love Lene Marlin- couldn't say the same about Miss Bedingfield though :) Lost In A Moment is a great album with loads of wonderful lyrics- I particularly like It's True and When You Were Around.They're melancholy yet still fabulous.

Poster Girl said...

I love "Unwritten" and "Single" a little less (and a remix of "The One That Got Away"), but I've really gone off of "I Wanna Have Your Babies"--liked it at first, but it's just sort of obnoxious now. I think I mainly wanted to use it as a contrasting point to bring out the sort of definitive or important (in my eyes) parts of Lene's song. "Melancholy" is a great word to use for a lot of her work--she does melancholy so well, which is something pretty difficult to pull off.

But basically: yay for Lene Marlin :)