Thursday, January 03, 2008

#21 Måns Zelmerlöw, "Brother Oh Brother"

Believe me brother oh brother
She will break your heart
Leave her tonight
Be strong 'cause brother oh brother
She's gonna tear you apart
Don't stay and fight

'Cause she will have some fun
And then she'll run away
With someone else
Believe me brother oh brother
She's gonna break your heart
Listen to me, I'm setting you free

How do you follow up an inescapable mega-hit like "Cara Mia"? Though I can appreciate the sentiment behind going with "Work Of Art (Da Vinci)" in an attempt to establish him as an artist who doesn't just do schlager, from the first moment the previews of the songs were put online, "Brother Oh Brother" seemed like a dream second single for the Swedish Idol contestant turned Let's Dance winner turned Melodifestivalen contestant Måns Zelmerlöw: it took the strengths and style of "Cara Mia," but twisted them in a new direction to create a fantastic danceable but sad pop stormer. Right where "Cara Mia"'s chorus goes up and explodes, "Brother Oh Brother"'s goes down, and that makes all the difference in the world--it could've capitalized on "Cara Mia"'s success without being seen as a clone of it. PinkieDust said he hoped Måns would make a song like Paolo Meneguzzi's "Ti Amo Ti Odio," and it's almost as if someone read that and said "great idea!"--that's what "Brother Oh Brother" reminds me of, just maybe with a little extra hint of Swedish schlager thrown in.

At least it's a single now, though, and doing pretty well, deservedly so. The song is gorgeous, sad, catchy, and with beat that could almost be seen as dance-influenced behind it, a pretty much irresistable combination. I loved the album version and would never have thought any sort of revamp was necessary, but now I can't really listen to the original without wanting all the little added "woah-oh-oh"s, whip cracks, clicks, piano, and extended instrumental part in the middle of the video version.

Brother Oh Brother (Video Version)

Find it on: Stand By For... (but the video version is only available on the "Brother Oh Brother" single)


Troy said...

OMG I can't believe I had never heard the single version before!

I like you never thought any kind of tweaking was necessary... but I'm impressed! They made it better without taking anything away from the original!

I totally agree with everything in your post... I understand why Work Of Art was the 2nd single... and I probably would have done the same thing but knowing that Brother Oh Brother would be the 3rd!

Very impressive! Thanks again PPG!

Resa said...

Ahhh, what a great song!

I really like your list so far and can't wait to see the rest of this! :)

madforsadler said...

oh wow, this is definetely one of the best songs of the year. Well, actually, his entire cd is kind of amazing, so that's not a surprise. I just wish cara mia had won at Melodifestivalen, and maybe then he would get more recgonition that he deserves.

Jason said...

Yes yes! I'm just discovering the greatness that is Mans, and this songs's been on repeat on my iPhone for the last week!

Thanks for including such a great song!

paul @ said...

ah the brilliance of Mans... actually this was perfect choice for 3rd single rather than second though i suspect if Work of Art had been released in the UK as a second single it would have charted as well as Robyn's Handle Me, ie it was a worthy choice but really everyone is just waiting for the ace third track. The video version actually IS a work of art (see what i did there) and really enhances the song. Plus any excuse to look at mans, right? (Future dodgy haircuts not withstanding). Oh! And while i'm not a big fan of Monrose, I am so happy to see Crash on your list by Matt Willis. Really the boy should be a much bigger star than he currently is. Poor git. BTW, can i suggest The Prayer as fourth Mans single?

EuropeCrazy said...

Great to see this in your chart. This is a really good pop song from a really good pop album and (being totally shallow here) I think he looks rather desirable in the video.

stoobydoo said...

Hair notwithstanding...this choice should be higher in my opinion, but that just means that the top 20 will be nothing short of amazing...

And Paul, my vote is Paradise.

Poster Girl said...

I'm so glad you like it, Troy! :)

Thanks Resa! It was SO difficult to rank all these songs.

It really really was, and I really enjoy his album! I would've LOVED for him to win Melodifestivalen...I hope his next album manages to come up with some similarly strong songs.

Oh, yay! Yes, he's done some great work! And ha ha, no problem.

That's a very good analogy there, Paul! I hadn't thought of that. Did you know "The Prayer" is a cover? I think I read that somewhere...maybe originally by a Danish singer or something?

Ha ha, shallowness is more than welcome here ;)

This high up, the ranking is practically arbitrary...and, to be honest (and "reveal" something which I imagine isn't that much of a revelation at all) I think the fact that Måns has another ranked even higher may have meant that I kind of subconsciously moved his other song down a little lower. Mika's singles kind of suffered because I liked all of them and kind of didn't want them to completely overrun the chart; this is kind of similar, though to a lesser extent. Some days, "Brother Oh Brother" is even my favorite Måns song, though! It truly is amazing.

stoobydoo said...

Bryan Rice did not sing "The Prayer" and he is the only Dane whose every song is allowed to be stolen (at least I thought)...

Poster Girl said...

Oh, that got a real live LOL! Ha ha ha! I did just look it up, and it looks like it's Jakob Sveistrup. By the way, I'm loving your comments.

Kevin said...

In addition to the "Video Version", which was slightly remixed from the Album Version, there's also the "Single Version", which is an edit of the "Video Version". Umm... did that make sense?

Warner Bros. doesn't seem to care much about their artists though. There's no excuse for the lack of physical single, the album has sold well enough and continues to chart. Cara Mia is still charting on the singles chart, and Brother Oh Brother re-enters the Top 10 again... it'd be a No. 1 single if there was a physical single, no doubt.