Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Åh, Kristina, guldet blev till sand

Aftonbladet reported today that Peter Jöback will be the next joker in 2010's Melodifestival, singing a Fredrik Kempe-penned ballad which their source says is of winning class. While there's not official confirmation of this fact yet, if it's true it significantly changes the picture for next year's contest. Peter is something of an institution in Sweden. As Markus Larsson of Aftonbladet rightly points out, Darin may be popular amongst young girls, but Peter is popular amonst far more demographics; songs unheard, he'll be the one to beat in March.

Peter has a voice which often veers towards theatrical, and he's done his share of theater and theatrical-sounding songs, especially piano- and string-featuring ballads. In fact, his biggest hit is the beautiful "Guldet blev till sand," from a musical written by the two "B"s of ABBA.



His latest album is a collection of covers, but the lead single for the album before that, "Stockholm I Natt," is probably as fair a representation of his sound as any (though it's not my absolute favorite of his songs).



Like any artist whose career is going on two decades of work, of course, he's accumulated a flirtation with various styles on his resumé, from Disney ballads to the more pure pop of his 2000 album Only When I Breathe to the sort of glam rock power ballad of his duet with the band Laakso; even to a previous Melodifestival entry, albeit back in 1990 before he was really an established artist.

I'm tentatively in favor of this development. I don't love everything Peter does, but there's no denying he can make a heartwrending song when he's matched up with the right material. The best we can do is hope that he has been in this case. Fredrik has composed some great ballads in his time, even if I tend to prefer his more uptempo songs. My first thought that I'd love Peter to sing a song like Patrick Isaksson's "Faller Du Så Faller Jag," a (non-Kempe) Melodifestival entry from 2006, but the song will probably be far more "polished orchestral" than that if I'm being honest with myself. Still, the idea of Peter singing one of the better ballads from Fredrik's first two solo album is pretty enticing.

8 comments:

Damian said...

I'm with you that I can't find any stuff really for me from what Peter did before but he has a voice and songwriter that did 2 brilliant ballads this year - "Moving On" and "Penny On The Sidewalk" and I expect from this collaboration something sounding exactly like "Penny On The Sidewalk" - as big, dramatical with orchestral arrangement!
You know I realized today what I missed a lot this year regarding MF. Some hero (great singer with great songwriter) that I need to start to believe in right now, not just good artist with potentially good stuff. I had Charlotte 2 years before and Sarah year before. I would make Darin this hero, but something doesn't let me (probably because actually deep inside of me I don't believe that Sweden can finally send any export-artist to ESC or probably because Tony Nilsson wasn't successful enough on MF previous years) but now I'm ready to make Peter this hero and it really warms my heart :)

Damian said...

By the way "Guldet blev till sand" is incredibly beautiful! And I guess this is the way we can expect Peter to sound on MF.

Len said...

I really like Peter's instincts and showmanship. When he's good he's great. Sometimes (like this year's EAST SIDE STORIES) his voice comes across as a bit thin. But I am definitely interested to hear what he brings to the tävling.

Paul said...

sometimes i think my pop life would be much better if I at least spoke some semblance of swedish. On the plus side I can sing a few lines of the Swedish version (ie, the proper version) of Story of a Heart ;)

Len W said...

The official introduction of the 3rd joker was on Thursday night's Cultural News, where the title was revealed to be HOLLOW, a "grand ballad" of a song "written of the doubts in a lonely heart". Sjögren said that Peter is the artist he has been trying to lure back into MF for the longest time because of his high professional standard and worldwide reputation.

This Saturday night's episode of DANSBANDKAMPEN is supposed to reveal the artist of the webbjoker entry "Come and Get Me Now", leading many observers to speculate that one of the hot young dansbands in this year's DBK will follow last year's Scotts into Melodifestivalen.

xolondon said...

Stockholm I Natt is very pretty. And the video! Some really amazing work coming out of Sweden, with this and Love Child as two examples.

Len W said...

OT but HIGHLIGHTS, an innocuous but good-looking bunch of dansband boys, have been announced as the artists for COME AND GET ME NOW in MF 2010...

Poster Girl said...

Damian, I understand what you mean. I too have hesitations or concerns about Darin's entry this year, partly for the reasons you named, partly because I'm still (much as I hate to say it) nervous about the quality of the song, and partly because I'm still not entirely certain I want to see Darin in MElodifestivalen. A song with the class and beauty of "Guldet blev till sand," though difficult to find, would be something I'd definitely welcome in the contest.

Len, "when he's good he's great" just about sums it up. I do really like Peter, though; I just don't always love his output, but when I do, I really love it. Still, for something like this, I'm trying to reason myself into believing the quality will have to be there. You were right about the web joker! I haven't been following Dansbandskampen at all this year, so I'll have to take your word about "innocuous but good-looking."

XO, many times it seems as if Swedish artists (especially the mainstream pop ones) aren't given the budget to make a proper video or the effort just isn't put in (when a video is even made), but when it is, the results can be really striking.

Paul, in English, I can imagine "Guldet blev till sand" being something you would really like, given, say, your love of "I Know Him So Well."