Wednesday, February 13, 2008

We all fight the hands of time

...or maybe we'll stay sentimental a little bit longer.

I've spent the past half week or week or so being quite taken with the work of Swedish singer Zandra. She released her self-titled debut album back in early 2005 (when she was 25, I think), but I only just got it--it was one of those cases of mp3 blogs doing what they're supposed to do; I saw the cover and remembered reading about her back on Catchy Tunes of Sweden, decided to get it (it was really cheap), and haven't looked back since. It's really a shame she seems to have disappeared (from what I know)--after Zandra, she released another single, "Why," but I can't find out what's happened to her since. Her singles really should have performed better in Sweden--she's got this great voice, with just a little grit in it, just enough to not detract from her songs but to give them that added ability to really be heartrending--honestly, the way she sings the chorus/prechorus lines "he is the only one that I ever really knew" in the power ballad "All We Need," if it wasn't for the song's lyrics--and heck, even with the lyrics--is devastating; I mean, she may use "we're all we need"--the present tense--but if this song doesn't convey loss (or at least struggle) to a T, I don't know what does.

That's not the song I'm posting today, though; instead, it is another kind of pop power ballad (though one with a faster tempo) type of thing, but it's a great one.

Invincible--yet another song that manages to perfectly capture a certain emotion or certain time in your life. I don't know what it is about Zandra's voice, but she manages to completely convince me that she means what she's singing during that chorus. I know there are loads of songs looking back on the joys and foolishness of youth (and I have do admittedly have special love for songs dealing with that subject), but that chorus

...when we were young and stupid
We had no limits we believed
So much wiser for our dreams
Embracing life together
We'd be around forever
So invincible we were

just captures it all so perfectly and succinctly for me. It may be a song looking back on when you just didn't know better, but, amidst the lyrics about a state of mind that's lost, the music manages to give the song a hint of uplift as well--like that little flashback high you get just from thinking about those times--as Zandra tries to convince the person she's singing to that there's still hope for them to recapture just a little bit of that. It's nostalgia that causes amusement and pain...and just that little bit of last-ditch hope.

(Random fact: Sofia Loell of the amazing, someone call a TV show right now so we can get this song featured "War Of Life" is one of "Invincible"'s co-writers. Seriously, if you've ever liked a sweetly voiced female singer-songwriter song in your entire life, do yourself a favor and go find "War Of Life." And Lisa Miskovsky's "Sweet Misery," too.)

You can buy Zandra's debut album, Zandra, here (physical) or here (digital). Also, her album and singles are available in all countries' iTunes stores.

Next up: maybe another female Swedish singer...though maybe I should try to sneak in a few artists from outside Scandinavia at some point...

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