Monday, February 25, 2008

No more sad goodbyes, close your gloomy eyes

Before we get into the descriptive part of this post, I'd just like to say that this album cover

sums up the entire '80's to me. Well, granted, it's not like I remember much of the '80's, but it captures what I think of when I think of them.

Anyway, some day I will properly investigate the fantastic American and British artists of the '80's...but apparently that day wasn't anytime this past week. What did I end up listening to, for reasons even I don't understand? Old '80's tracks from Swedish singers Pernilla Wahlgren and Lena Philipsson. It's not like I've got that much of either artist's '80's output, but for some reason I've got the urge to investigate. I started with the easiest '80's album to get from Pernilla, her self-titled 1985 debut (though sadly I've got the reissue and not the original with the cover you see above), put out after her performance of "Piccadilly Circus" in Melodifestivalen. The song only took fourth, but it became a (said to be overplayed now) classic. After releasing this album, Pernilla would go on to release several more (I need to track down at least Pure Dynamite and probably Attractive as well) and participated in Melodifestivalen again before taking a break from performing chart music and instead doing things like children's TV and musicals. She came back to Melodifestivalen in 2003 singing the duet "Let Your Spirit Fly" with Jan Johansen. In 2006, she released a new album, and just recently she released a new single, the schlager and probably Melodifestival reject "I min värld."

Her 1985 album, which has some songs in Swedish and some in English, has some great songs. "Can't Live Without You" is an ode to tracking down the guy who left you, but this is no mournful ballad--it's more of a hunting song set to a revvy mid-tempo beat, which includes lines like the following

I'm walkin on the sidewalks of Santa Fe
I'm lookin' for an old rusted Chevrolet
And now the clue I got is your spice cologne

The opening track, "Svindlande Affärer," which was a single, is great as well (though apparently not on the original edition of the album). I could keep going but, jumping to the point, the song I'm sharing today was never a single, at least to my knowledge, but it's at least as good as the singles from this album.

Don't Run Away From Me Now--I'm pretty sure this song is amazing--no, scratch that, I am sure. Somewhere between mid-tempo and power ballad territory, "Don't Run Away From Me Now" opens up fairly minimally, trying to create a little bit of atmosphere and the feeling that we might just be building into something, before eventually giving us a fantastic punchy (very '80's) chorus that helps the song take on a big (dare I say epic?) feel...well, big at least for this sort of commercial '80's pop. It doesn't really have one vocal hook to key in on (though the backing music is definitely throwing all sorts of hooks at you), but it's still catchy--I've been going around with "Tenderness is hard to find/Don't run away from me now" stuck in my head for days. This isn't '80's electro-pop or anything, just old-fashioned classic '80's pop, complete with big overhead handclap-friendly middle section.

To buy Pernilla Wahlgren's self-titled album, go here (physical).

Next up: maybe Jacques.


ThePopGirls said...

How the hell did you get a picture of my Mum from 1984?

Alyson (5ive Alive)

D'luv said...


Poster Girl said...

Special present, for your birthday ;)

D'luv, I'm sorry, but you know it had to come out eventually.