German singer Jeanette, launched as a result of the teen pop boom of the late '90's and early '00's, gave us great pop in the form of her 2002 single "Rock My Life," a knockoff of Mandy Moore's "In My Pocket" which didn't quite live up to the impossibly high standard set by its inspiration but still holds up all these years on. Special mention also has to go to the more pop-rock "Rockin' On Heaven's Floor," even if only for its title alone.
When the hype for her new single "Undress To The Beat" started early this year, I was hopeful that Jeanette was about to turn herself from a singer with a few lucky moments of brilliance into a proper popstar. Once we finally got to hear the whole thing properly, it wasn't quite as fantastic as I hoped, but it was still a good fun song that indicated an interesting direction for Jeanette's new album, as if she might pursue a danceable pop sound that combined Holly Valance, Rachel Stevens, and some Kylie but wasn't exactly like any of those singers. That Jeanette would ever truly exceed either of the aforementioned artists was always unlikely--something a little more...downmarket was to be expected--but I was left hoping the album of the same title as the lead single would provide us some solid pop moments.
With the album out now and me only having partially digested it so far, I can say it does that. As expected, this isn't an album that those whose music tastes run towards more sophisticated pop will take to their hearts, nor is this an album I'm going to go around begging everyone to listen to--it has more niche appeal than that. Boy, though, what a niche. If you've got a love for your random European pop starlets doing up-tempo modern pop songs (as I do), you'll enjoy even those and probably find the album as a whole not only listenable but exciting. It has some great electro-dance-pop songs, ones which I can imagine many the fan of the European pop scene loving.
Picking which song to share was pretty difficult. The sweet poppy "All Mine"? The slinky but up-tempo electro "Feline" (which has fantastic verses and bridges but a chorus that isn't quite as good until same backing vocals are added to it the last few times around)? "Undress To The Beat," which, despite mentioning numerous times and linking to, I've never actually posted? "In Or Out," with its expansive catchy synth-filled chorus and slightly less great but also slightly more haunting verses? The cheesier stop-start synths of the more mid-tempo "No Rules"? The choppy "Chasing A Thrill," with its insistent drum beat, layers of synths hooks, and catchy vocal part? "Material Boy (Don't Look Back)," originally pitched to Monrose and with a dirty electro sound and strong percussion part that makes it unsurprising that the song comes from Remee and Thomas Troelsen, who did that group's "Hot Summer" (though it's not as amazing as that song and has changed since its appearance as a Monrose demo)? I could keep going, but the bottom line is that you probably already know whether or not this is an album for you. I'm sure by tomorrow, when more than two hours since I first heard the album have passed, I'll be thinking that I chose the wrong song and will be feeling the urge to dedicate a new post to a new song, but for now, here's "This Love," which I think is kind of Rachel Stevens-esque. The chorus doesn't quite attack like I want it to, but the song is still pretty great.
To buy Jeanette's album Undress To The Beat, go here (physical).
Next up: maybe more about Måns or about Erik. Or another Jeanette song.