Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Never perform under pressure

I was going to write about the new Linda Bengtzing album today, but then I saw the review in Expressen (it got zero little bug symbols--the equivalent of getting no stars or getting a bomb) and decided that, though it's not a review worth taking seriously, I still really needed to write about the album with more depth than I had originally planned, and that'll entail a few more listens. Instead, then, we're going with another female Swedish singer, one I've written about before but not here (over in my old HotStuff Files column): Sofia. No, not Sofia Berntsson of 2007's "Hypnotized," but a pop-rock artist from 2005. I think she was launched to take advantage of the popularity of singers like Kelly Clarkson, Ashlee Simpson, and Avril Lavigne (yes, I realize those are singers from different "eras" of pop) but to also appeal to "real" rock fans--that was the theory, anyway, but I don't think the album performed nearly as well as her record company was hoping it would.

Afrodisiac--the first verse of this song never fails to make me cringe, but after that it gets better. Well, maybe not--it's more like after that one of two things happens: 1.) the lyrics go into "so bad it's good territory"--I mean, surely there's a certain trashy appeal to be gained from being able to sing along with "So you got a problem with your manly thing/Thought you said you're Mister Masculine"?, or 2.) the crunchy guitars take over and it doesn't really matter what she's singing anymore. Or maybe both. Though musically it's a lot rockier, the ultimate sentiment behind "Afrodisiac" isn't that different from what the restyled Sandy is telling Danny at the beginning of "You're The One That I Want" in Grease: I want you, but you better step up! The difference is that Sofia's way of taunting is a lot more mocking, obviously supposed to take advantage of that whole "I'm an angry edgy kinda dirty hot chick" angle to help her cross over to those (mainly male) older rock fans (see also: posing soaking wet for FHM). Luckily, the stop-start guitars that you'll hear in and near the chorus make sure that the song doesn't get lost or fail to be catchy.

To buy Sofia's album Lifetraveller, go here (physical).

Next up: maybe Swedish electro-pop or a singer with the same first name as the one I wrote about today.


Rick said...

Well. I didn't know that 'money' and 'horny' rhymed. Maybe it sounds like it does to Swedes.

This is almost as good as Ruslana's lyric 'oh you puts my heart on fire and it makes me going mad'.

Poster Girl said...

I think given my usual level of Ruslana comprehension she could be singing the best lyrics ever and she could still be singing in Ukrainian for all I knew.

Maybe we should ship Sofia off to the Helena Paparizou delicious/capricious/vicious school of rhyming?