Thursday, October 16, 2008

I never wanted to be the cause of your misery

(I'm now having trouble with both ZShare and Sharebee, so it's back to SpeedyShare--which does let you preview before you download--for now.)

There are a bunch of songs out and about at the moment that I'm itching to write about (and hopefully soon there will be even more), but for now, let's go with something ripped straight from the Swedish iTunes top 10 (speaking of which, I more write more about it later, but Winding Stairs' "Shadow Stripes," on sale in all countries' iTunes stores and even the U.S. Amazon mp3 store, may appeal to a lot of people who aren't hardcore Swede-pop addicts; it's got a little bit of the indie-pop aura around it as well as possibly one of the most interesting musical compositions of the year, with its more lush, melodic, serious, and string and piano-centered base overlain by jaunty "la la la"s). Daniel Karlsson is, yes, another boy from Swedish Idol, but unlike many of the Idol boys of recent years, he's deliberately setting himself up as more of an artist type (for lack of a better phrase). "Would You Believe?" is his debut single.

Would You Believe?--as with "Shadow Stripes," I think this is a song those of you less prone to loving the uber-bouncey poppy commercial side of Swedish pop (which I adore) may love. It's tough to know where to focus on first, given that both the lyrics and music are interesting enough that it takes a few listens to all sink in. Some stop-and-go verses with harp plucks have a musical accompaniment that makes it obvious pretty quickly that Daniel doesn't want that created-by-electronic-equipment sound, that he wants a slightly more "organic" sound, though that's not to say at all that he's forsaking all such equipment--we get some tweaking with vocals more than once over the course of the song to elongate and layer them. The chorus manages to seem both breezily, expansively simple as well as not at all so. It's kind of halfway towards sounding very "big," like it should be played in a hall where the sounds will bounce around and reverberate for an almost orchestral feel. There's even a lovely middle 8 as well, with Daniel's stretched out "misery" being pretty catchy in and of itself. Like that chorus, the music of the song as a whole works through its contradictions: a certain pop-rock breezy jauntiness (to reuse two words) and melancholy at the same time.

If we switch back to the lyrics for a moment, we'll find a breakup story told from the party doing the breaking up after he's "caused a lot of pain" to his partner--a bit unusual, but certainly not unheard of. There are enough little lyrical twists, though, that I find myself getting more and more captivated with the story. I think Daniel definitely wants to be seen as clever, and that can sometimes come across the wrong way, but with some of the lines he comes up with, including my favorite--We could've had it all, I know/But it's so much more than I need"--he just might be. Daniel's come up with something great with "Would You Believe?", a song with a great musical background and with a lyrical cadence and delivery that suits that background perfectly.

To buy Daniel Karlsson's single "Would You Believe?", go here (physical) or here (digital).

Next up: maybe another Swedish song or a dark dramatic song from an American singer...or something Danish. Or Japanese dance-pop. Who knows?


Paul said...

that is NOT a great look for this person. Luckily the music is stronger than the look... on a remotely related note, Jon McLaughlin looked amazing on Good Morning America today (or some show of the same ilk)!

Bas said...

thanks i like this track

D'luv said...

That was nice of Chris Martin to lend him his jacket.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic description of a truly great song! have to correct you though on your lyric-remark. He really does sing than rather than that!

Anonymous said...

Hi there love. I just have to let you know that "But it's so much more than I need" is what I sing so thank you.. /DK

Poster Girl said...

Paul, I didn't see him! Still, when is that ever not true of Jon would be the question.

Bas, I'm glad!

D'luv, better than getting Brandon's.

Post's been fixed to show that--and I'm thrilled! That's what I thought it was at first, but then I started to think I'd misheard the line. Thank you!