Sunday, February 08, 2009

When every night was Saturday night

"Interesting" is often a cop-out word for when you can't come up with a more descriptive adjective or want to avoid committing to stating whether something is good or bad, but I can't think of a better one for this little piece of news.

Swedish group E.M.D.--made up of three former Idol contestants, Danny Saucedo (he of brilliant dance-pop), Erik Segerstedt (of a pop-rock-soul album), and Mattias Andréasson--were chosen last year to be a joker in this year's Melodifestival. The group ended up choosing to participate in the contest with the uptempo "Baby Goodbye," a song written by them and friend Oscar Görres that they say isn't a typical E.M.D. track (I'm hoping that means it's more like the electronic dance music Danny and Oscar Görres often work in). However, up until the last minute, apparently there was a very good chance they would end up singing the Jörgen Elofsson-penned "Saturday Night," which they said was more of a classic schlager song (as opposed to "Baby Goodbye," which they said is more attitude-filled and Europe-friendly).

Now, Erik Segerstedt is releasing a new single called "Saturday Night." A coincidence? It could be--Daniel Lindström, for example, recently released a single with the same title and it's hardly a unique title--but it seems unlikely. If it's true that "Saturday Night" is schlager, though, and if it wasn't been reworked, it'll mark a complete change in sound for the singer who began his solo career by covering Bryan Rice's "Can't Say I'm Sorry." I haven't heard it yet, but apparently it is or shortly will be on Swedish radios; I'd be lying if I said I wasn't going to have my ear out for it. You throw the words "schlager" and "Melodifestival reject" around, and you've got my attention.

The members of E.M.D. are baffling me with the scheduling of the solo careers in relation to the group, though. Presumably the group's debut album will be re-released to tie in with "Baby Goodbye," but Danny just released his second solo album late this December and is currently in the middle of another single release, "All On You." That could just be to keep him in the public eye and therefore increase the group's publicity, too, especially since this is the second single from the album. For Erik to choose to release a lead single for his second album in the middle of Melodifestivalen would be risky enough considering how much Melodifestivalen tends to dominate the charts around this time and that Erik's not a solidly established artist (not a guaranteed big seller). For him to release the single in the middle of Melodifestival season when he's actually a member of a group competing in the contest seems even stranger.

Still, if "Saturday Night" is a good schlager song, I'll gladly welcome it. If it's been reworked into typical E.M.D. or Erik style...well, I'll probably be significantly less enthusiastic. He has sung the "happy" song live with just piano and guitar backing, which is semi-ominous.

Speaking of strange release date choices from Idol contestants considering Melodifestivalen is going on, I was surprised to see that the winner of the latest season of Idol in Sweden, Kevin Borg, is set to release his debut single, "Street Lights," on February 18 and his debut album, The Beginning, on March 4. Then again, I guess he'll sell so much no matter what Melodifestivalen wasn't a concern. I do want to hear "Street Lights," mainly to get a feel for what direction he's going in--I could be interested or not at all, considering the variety of songs he did on the show.

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