Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The city is all we need tonight

Maltese (but Swedish Idol winner) Kevin Borg's second single--and his first post-winner's single release--"Street Lights" is a big cheesy half-mid-tempo half-ballad affair, full of strings, layered vocals, lines like "we don't need Hollywood or the big screen, baby," and not innovative or up-tempo or edgy in any way, shape, or form...

...and heaven help me, but I think I like it. It really is the least edgy song you'll probably hear this year and its perfect Melodifestival length of 3 minutes on the dot couldn't be more deceptive--well, scratch that, put this in Swedish and maybe it would fit into the contest. Pretty well, actually. I don't want it there, though: so much of what makes the song great is the production dressing it up, and that would largely be lost in a live context.

The important thing is that somehow, everything--the jumping strings, the tinkling bells, the cheesy lyrics, the occasional flirtation with guitar epic production before returning to young male teen pop-meets-MOR glossy production, the melody that sometimes like it's just one big build-up to something that never comes--works for me. That aforementioned "we don't need no Hollywood" line isn't even that hooky, and yet I've had it replaying in my head since first hearing it. The song doesn't mark Kevin as any sort of exciting force in the world of pop, but it's just so darn...pretty.

I've got no idea who the writer or producer of "Street Lights" is, but I do know Kevin has worked with Peter Sjöstrom, who apparently did Måns Zelmerlöw's "Paradise" and Celine Dion's "Shadow Of Love."

To buy Kevin Borg's single "Street Lights," go here (physical) or here (digital; link should work shortly).

9 comments:

Nick said...

Gooey, for sure, but I quite liked Kevin in idol and he's a fantastic singer. I hope there's edgier stuff on his album (something that sounds more like his cover of Livin On A Prayer), but this is definitely a "safe" single choice. The strings are quite catchy and it's the type of song where enjoying the artist totally makes it. I would HATE this is David Archuleta sang it.

Paul said...

I'm really liking Kevin a lot. Yeah his first single was corn on the cob, and this one is pretty similar, but I really like his voice. Basically Nick said everything that I wanted to say!! PS can you believe Archie is supporting McFly? Like i don't feel old enough at their concerts?!

Poster Girl said...

Nick, something like his version of "Livin' On A Prayer" would be very welcome. I almost made the Archuleta comparison here, but I'm glad it's Kevin singing this for the sound of the voice alone.

Paul, MASS CHAOS is sure to occur. Well, maybe David doesn't have the fan base in the UK that he does here yet, but he'll probably end up picking up at least a small and vocal one. Maybe go with earplugs?

Robpop said...

No, not at all cutting edge. Very simple. Sometimes its better to keep it simple. As long as he doesn't edge towards Westlife simpleness (is that even a word?)...then he should be okay (in my books).

There is an element to Coldplay feel to the strings in this......

Robpop said...

Yes, play Viva La Vida........

there's a small similarity...

(Word verification: FlashRob)

(freaky!)

Damian said...

I like this kind of guitar pop with mood of fresh summer morning kinda U2, so it pretends to keep in my player really long time. Thanx for it! :) Waiting for the album.

Len W said...

So whaddya think PPG, will it be Melodifestivalen or Maltese Song for Europe for Kevin next year? He's done the Maltese national finals already, and he could come home the conquering hero. Or does he dare throw his hat in for Sweden in 2010?

Alexander said...

It's written by: Carl Falk, Didrik Thott & Steven Lee Olsen.

:)

Poster Girl said...

I hadn't thought of that string connection! I do love strings in pop songs almost more than anything, so that could have a lot to do with my enjoyment of this song and "Viva La Vida." Your word verification here is getting increasingly weird, Bobby!

Damian, I'm glad you said "U2" because I almost made that reference and then held myself back--there's this one moment, only a few seconds (if that), in the first third of the song where the production is very U2.

Len, good question! I wish I knew a little bit more about record company politics--if he's on a Swedish label and has Swedish management, would they let him go to (the much smaller music market of) Malta? Then again, he'd have a much better chance of qualifying from there and then getting cross-Europe Eurovision exposure...and that would include in Sweden. Malta would be a lot safer (well, I guess he's got the fanbase in Sweden to do well, but how well E.M.D. do this week will be illustrative on that front), but I'm not sure that his record company would want/allow/push for that. Total uninformed guessing on my part, though! What do you think?

Thanks, Alex! Now that you say that, it looks like Carl Falk even has the demo of it on his MySpace.