Monday, March 24, 2008

'Cause I ain't no intricated brunette

There's this certain type of beat, this squooshy oompah type beat, that's the musical equivalent of nails on a chalkboard for me. I wouldn't claim a song that used it was bad because it's just a personal thing, but it does make it difficult for me to like a song like, say, Girls Alouds' "Can't Speak French." When I heard Norwegian singer Jorun Stiansen's new single "Sticky Hands" last year, I was kind of interested in it but knew it was going to be the sort of song I could never really love--because of that beat. I mentioned it here but pretty much ignored it after that...until I ended up watching the video for it just recently (months after it was released). Jorun's gone from this look...



...for her first album--the "I'm a scrappy, slightly punky teenager" look (and even when she glammed up a bit in some of her videos, she was cute but still had this really young look to her)--to...



...well, she's more than a bit gorgeous now, no?

Anyway, that's besides the point: I somehow didn't get what the song was about until I saw the video--actually, scratch that, though it may have made me get some things, I think the video left me even more confused in the end (it's imprinted in my memory now, though--it's kind of the definition of "TOO MUCH" in its bizarre funny "what's going on?!" kind of sense). Regardless, though, the song's under my skin at the moment. It's still not the sort of song I can wholeheartedly love, but I've been playing it over and over again. Hopefully some of you won't share my aversion to that particular backbeat, too.

Sticky Hands--the lead single for Norwegian Idol 2005 winner Jorun's second album (her first album, by the way, contained the original "Takes One To Know One," later covered by Belinda and Amy Diamond--well, I think it's the original; I know it predates those two versions--I just don't know if there's some earlier version I don't know about), "Sticky Hands" is a mid-tempo pop song with that aforementioned oompah beat and little cabaret touches thrown in. Can we get back to that video, though? Seriously, what is going on? Jorun caresses an unmoving man with an animal head, then drags him out by a chain, and then blowdries her hair. And that's just the beginning--I could go on, but it's better not to spoil any of the randomness for you. It's given me a whole new appreciation for the song, though, so it's done its job. Oh, and side note: I love that instrumental section in the middle (in the video, it's the part with the spinning cabinet).

P.S. Yes, I know "intricated" isn't a word--tell that to Jorun. Or tell me what she's actually saying there, because that's sure what it sounds like to me.

I don't know of any way someone outside of Norway can buy Jorun Stiansen's single "Sticky Hands" (the album comes out later this year, apparently), but you can buy her debut album Unstable here (digital). Should you happen to live in Norway, you can buy the "Sticky Hands" single from iTunes here.

Anyway, the reason I ended up watching Jorun's video was that I was doing some catching up on other Norwegian artists. Girl group Lilyjets have a new single, "Song For You," coming out this April; R&B-oriented Idol contestant Wisnu has a new single called "Follow Me" coming out the same month; and Idol winner Aleksander With has new-ish clips of songs called "Honest Now" (my preferred song of the two; it sounds pretty lovely in his guy-with-piano way) and "Home Is Where You Are" on his MySpace.

In other random singer news, Russian singer Serebro have a new single out (in Russian) called "Opium." It (like their other songs) can be downloaded for free and in good quality from their website here. Foregoing the attitude-filled stompiness of "Song No. 1," it's got this backing in which laid-back but dark electronica washes and a stronger forward-moving guitar-type beat mix together to create something that could pass over you with little impression or come off as completely intoxicating depending on your taste and mood; I'm definitely leaning towards the latter at the moment (I completely adore it right now, to be more straightforward, though I can never guarantee how long something will stick with me), so I'd very much recommend checking it out. If the people on YouTube can be believed, there'll be an English version coming later.

Elin Lanto gave an interview saying that her album--due out this summer--was all built around the sound of "Speak 'n Spell," which is pretty fantastic news.

Next up: dance-influenced pop--or is it pop-influence dance?--from some years ago.

7 comments:

eurovisionessex said...

What did you make of Amy Diamond's entry into MF? I think it had a similar sort of oompah-beat, though maybe not as pronounced. I don't dislike this beat per se, but I think it takes a lot of effort. Actually, 'Thank You', in another universe, could have been, just about, a Girls Aloud song!

eurovisionessex said...

'effort to get right', I meant to add.

Resa said...

Jorun Stiansen: I loved her debut album and I love the sound of "Sticky Hands"

Elin Lanto: I love the sound of that news! So exciting. I loved 'Speak N' Spell'. Linda Sundblad wrote that, right? I can definitely hear her singing that...

Serebro: I'm amazed at the quality of songs that they've put out. Granted, they've only put out four, but they've all been pretty good. Any news on an album?

Poster Girl said...

Hmmm...interesting! I don't think I would have ever of thought as "Thank You" as an example of that beat (without hearing it from you)--maybe because the tempo is quicker? I completely love "Thank You," at any rate. You're right about the Girls Aloud thing, too! I can imagine someone like Rachel Stevens doing it as well--the musical backing isn't millions of miles away from something like "I Said Never Again (But Here We Are)."

Linda did! You're right, too; I can imagine it as well. And you're so right about Serebro as well. I can never keep of Russian pop acts--I know they're working on an album, but no more than that...I'll have to go look around.

Paul said...

wait wait wait, back up back up - now are you saying that you don't like the lovely Can't Speak French by Girls Aloud?????!

Resa said...

That picture of Jorun's first album cover reminds me of how much I hate it! She looks like she's taking a dump. (Sorry). I love her new look now.

I love "Can't Speak French", but I would've gone with another song from "Tangled Up", like "Girl Overboard" or something else.

Poster Girl said...

Ha ha, Paul--see above comment! But basically, yeah, it was one of the few songs I didn't like on my first few listenings of the album, and sadly that hasn't changed too much, though I'm a little friendlier towards it now and might be moreso if I'd heard it a bunch of times.

No, you're right, not the greatest cover. I don't even love the single cover for "Sticky Hands" that much, though--I don't feel like it really does her justice either (though I like her look now in general a lot!). I LOVE "Girl Overboard" and would love to see it as a single but I've given up thinking I have any idea how the British record buying public will respond to things ;)