Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I'm not playin' any games

There was one name I've been surprised to see crop up twice in the "composer" section for Iceland's national finals for Eurovision: Svala Björgvinsdóttir. Good for her, though. I thought we might as well stick with the whole circa-2000 style of pop from yesterday's post, and Svala's debut album, The Real Me, is definitely in keeping with that. I think there was some attempt to launch her in the U.S., but I don't think it ever got much one single, her album's title track (though given the significant number of low-priced copies of it in Amazon's "new and used" section, the album must have been at least partially released here). Still, the 2001 album is, among other things, noteworthy for receiving a frankly shocking 4 1/2 out of 5 stars from All Music. Svala would go on to release another album in her native Iceland, the more country-influenced Bird Of Freedom. Her MySpace makes it sound like she's join a hipster-styled band now, but she must still have time to write up some potential Eurovision entries on her own--assuming it's the same Svala Björgvinsdóttir!

The Real Me--this isn't classic-level teen pop, but it's a good enough example of bandwagon jumping on the teen pop trend that it's worth listening to. Slick, produced, and with a little R&B-influence, "The Real Me" doesn't quite have that same smack-you-in-the-face strength or attitude that, say, Britney's "(You Drive Me) Crazy" does--it doesn't have the highs and lows for that--but it's good pop nonetheless. Actually, that's not the right comparison to make--"The Real Me" is more from the "Genie In A Bottle" school of teen pop than it is the "Crazy" or "Oops!...I Did It Again" school--that'll give you a better idea of what to expect and, with that in mind, it's a really good example of that type of song.

To buy Svala's debut solo album, The Real Me, go here (physical) or here (digital).

Next up: maybe that Swedish duet.


Kevin said...

Svala's album was never released in the US. Like albums by Tim James, Lutricia McNeal, et al, they were manufactured and pressed, but ultimately canceled.

Svala was, if I'm not mistaken, on Playland Records, Priority's dance/pop offshoot (Priority was distributed by EMD). Her American label did commission club mixes. Everybody and their grandmother raved about the Hani mixes; I was able to track down a copy of the promo vinyl maxi. Virgin Records UK promoted the mixes in the UK, but just like the US, nothing made it past the promo stages.

In regards to your previous Måns' post, the mixes were services about a week ago. Once again, there are Ali Palayami and PJ Harmony mixes. Also, there is a horrible, horrendous "West Coast Version", which is what you would expect... some horrible R&B/hip hop joint! GAG! I smell a US hit! The artwork for the single is great, although it's a previously seen pic, from the album's photo sessions.

Also, there's a great Måns song called "I Can Be Your Friend", which is only available on the digital version of "Stand By For...". You can hear a preview at iTunes (and of course you can not buy the song by itself!). And furthermore, there's a PJ Harmony remix of "Maniac". It's available on the comp "Absolute Dance: Move Your Body - Autumn 2007".

Paul said...

bloody hell that took ages to read (the comment above was as long as your post :P) This is what i call a cute song - it's not really brilliant enough for me to warrant checking it out further, but i feel comforted knowing i have it to listen to when i need a little sunshine in my day :)

kevin (ru) said...

I have this album, and there's a couple of stunning tracks. My favorite is "Never Should Have Let You Go".

Poster Girl said...

Thanks Kevin! I was wondering--there were reviews of it, but I got the feeling it was just promoed. And I'd been meaning to leave you a comment on Last.fm for a while asking if there were any new Måns mixes. And yeah, I can totally hear how someone would hear "Brother Oh Brother" and think "you know, this would really lend itself to a hip-hop version." Ooo at hearing of a new song, though!

Yay--glad for sunshine :)

I think I need to go see if I can dig the album out from somewhere, Kevin--I remember you referring really positively to it before--and for some reason I've taken all of it off my computer except for three songs (not sure why, considering those three songs are great), and "Never Should Have Let You Go" isn't one of them! I'll go look for it.

Kev said...

The track-listing for the CD promo and digital maxi single (which was released on Nov. 7):

1. Single Version
2. Video Version
3. Payami Remix
4. PJ Harmony Remix
5. West Coast Version

Svala's album was definitely pressed, as it had a release date. It's customary for labels to send promo copies of albums to reviewers, record stores, and the like. AllMusicGuide has reviews for a lot of album that were canceled in the US (i.e. Mary Griffin).