Tuesday, March 25, 2008

We don't care, we don't fight, we don't even know what's wrong or right

While I work on my thoughts about Linda Bengtzing's new album, I thought we'd flash back to her first album. I expect most people with interest in it may already own it, though, so I thought I'd use a slightly different approach; even if it's fairly--if not totally--well-known that Linda Bengtzing's debut album contained a cover (at least one), that subject at least has a chance of being new to people.

You may have picked up on the fact that Linda's album track "Vad Hände Sen," a kind of dramatic rocky mid-tempo ballad with a powerful chorus, was co-written by Australian duo the Veronicas, Lisa and Jessica Origliasso, which was a pretty good indication that it wasn't originally in Swedish. The sisters recorded it, with the title "What's Going On" (or "What's Goin' On") as a demo for themselves, but the song ultimately ended up being given away for use by other artists, including Japanese singer Miz (the first artist to release it, I think, since the album with "What's Going On" came out in July 2004; interestingly, apparently she released an English language album in Sweden, with the Japanese language album containing her Japanese version of "What's Going On" as a bonus disc in some versions), Australian Idol winer Casey Donovan (who made it her second single, releasing it in February 2005), Australian singer Tania Mora (who included it on her November 2006 album Sanctity), and, of course, our Swedish singer Linda (who included it on her March 2006 album Ingenting Att Förlora).

It really is a song that fits Linda perfectly, as well as fits right in with the rest of the album. I've not heard more than clips of Miz's version and I haven't heard Tania's version at all, but if we're just talking about the flow of words, I think I may prefer the lyrics in Swedish--somehow, the line "what's going on?" doesn't feel like it has a proper ending to me. Yes, I realize it's a question and therefore doesn't have a "proper ending" and that you could argue the point of the song is that there isn't a proper nice neat resolution in terms of the story, but the phrase "what's going on" just lacks that punch or impact because of the sound of the words in it (or maybe the way it's delivered). I wish I knew more about phonics and language and could get across why, but "sen" just finishes off the line better for me than "on" does.

As for who singings it best? Don't make me choose! I love the sound of the Veronicas' voices (there's this sweetness amidst the strength) and how they work together, but Casey (who must have been, what, sixteen or seventeen when this was recorded?) delivers the chorus with more power and with a certain growl in her voice that gives the song a more aggressive edge that suits all the guitars. Then again, I adore Linda's voice, and there's a certain clarity to her version, multi-tracked as the vocal may be on the chorus, that I like--it helps prevent her from getting lost in all that dramatic backing music.

For the purposes of comparison, then, and just for a short time, I give you:

The Veronicas, "What's Going On" (leaked demo) (note that DSTP originally introduced me to the fact that the Veronicas had recorded demos of songs given by them to other artists--thanks guys!--though this particular version doesn't come from DSTP)
Casey Donovan, "What's Going On" (second single, peaked at #18)
Linda Bengtzing, "Vad Hände Sen" (album track)

(Incidentally, it's coming to something when I think more people reading here will have heard a Swedish language album track than an English language single from an Idol winner, isn't it?)

You can buy Linda Bengtzing's album Ingenting Att Förlora here (physical) or here (digital) and Casey Donovan's album For You here (physical). The Veronicas' version of "What's Going On" was never released on an album, but you can buy their latest album Hook Me Up here (physical).

Speaking of Linda, I mentioned earlier that she'll be on the Swedish version of Clash of the Choirs (Körslaget), and I just noticed today that it debuts March 29. Possibly more exciting is the fact that she'll be on Swedish musical gameshow Så ska det låta on April 5, teamed up with Brolle (who's one of her competitors on Körslaget, but I think I remember reading that Så ska det låta was filmed a while ago--wasn't it one of the things that got Carola and Andreas thinking of working together, or got Christer Björkman to think of them working together? Anyway, Brolle duets with her on her new album as well).

Next up: maybe that dance-pop.


Paul said...

it's like the resurrection of popeatspop! ooo! I do enjoy Casey's version best, but you have reminded me that i really need to try and check out the veronicas music. I quite like Linda - i didn't realise she had a new album out. I will have to check it out - another purchase to add to my burgeoning credit card bill. PS. Really? Can't speak French anti beats?!

Mike said...

Poor Casey. I saw her busking in the street near Redfern station recently. I threw her $2 and kept walking.

Oh did you know she released an indepedent EP a couple of months ago? It's pretty shit but worth checking out if you like her stuff.

The Blogger Formerly Known As Digital Technique said...

3 of my favourite artists in one post! Am going to have to go dig out Casey's album again! :)

D'luv said...

PopEatsPop?! What ever happened to that boyslut that did that site? Was he like the JT Leroy of the blogosphere or what? Hmmm. Poster Girl, do you have something to tell us?

As for that Linda broad in the picture up above, she's really pretty. Pity about the rack, though.

Lukus said...

I love anything the veronicas touch!!! those girls prove that us aussies have talent. they live my future.. that is making/writing songs for other artists...

Poster Girl said...

I miss PopEatsPop :( I even thought of it while writing this post--I should've done the whole pictures of all the artists lined up across the top thing in its honor. Yes, anti-"Can't Speak French"'s beats--my opinion on that, sadly, hasn't changed since I first heard the album, though maybe it would have if I lived in the UK and had got a lot of exposure to it recently.

Awww--Idol shows can have some really sad downsides to them sometimes. I was thinking about this when reading about someone else from an Idol show from the other day--being seen as "washed up" by the time you're 22, 23 would be such a hard thing to deal with. Thanks for the info--I don't think, without quality songs, I'd be too inclined to buy it, but there's something kind of nice about her still singing anyway.

Yay! :D

D'luv, if you hadn't catcalled me the other day, I might have told you (if I've told you my hours once, I've told you a million times!). And though that picture may be a bit deceptive, she's definitely no Charlotte Perrelli in that respect!

They're great! I'd be beyond thrilled if "Untouched" ended up doing anything in the U.S. They've done some great songs for other artists, too.