Saturday, March 05, 2011

Jag kan klara mig själv, kan gå ut varje kväll, kommer hem när jag vill

The demo CD of the Melodifestival boxset is pretty fascinating. Fascinating enough that it's already got me wishing for a sequel, even if the singers are more Agnetha Körsvik and Anette Ingemarsson & Ida Segersten than Linda Bengtzing and Måns Zelmerlöw.

7-17 Jag ljuger så bra by poppostergirl

Noting the changes a song goes through between being demoed and being properly debuted is something only a schlager nerd would love--but that's what I am, so it's thrilling to hear the considerably different lyrics on Agnetha Körsvik's "Hero," the way "Night Of Passion" was completely rearranged (as well as lyrically tweaked) for the Poodles, or the different way Jessica Andersson sings "Jag ljuger så bra."

Often the changes were ultimately for the better; I prefer the lyrics to Charlotte's version of "Hero." Still, for those of us who will never get to sit with a songwriter as they hone a song into the best version of itself it can be, listening to demos like these is the next best thing.

As I mentioned recently, Linda Bengtzing's "Jag ljuger så bra" is quite possibly my favorite schlager song of all time, and definitely in the top ten. I had no expectations that Jessica Andersson's demo would surpass it in my affections, especially without the benefit of having ever been given the final polish a song actually to be released receives. It doesn't, but I'm very glad to have it.

Jessica, going solo after considerable Melodifestival success as half of Fame, faced a devil of a choice in 2006: if I'm remembering correctly, she could have sung either "Jag ljuger så bra" ("I'm Such a Good Liar") or "Kalla nätter" ("Cold Nights"), two of the best songs ever to compete in Melodifestivalen. She chose the latter, a Rachel Stevens-esque modern pop song, but unfortunately failed to make it out of her semifinal after a nervous performance that was better in theory than in reality. Linda took the former, a string-featuring classically styled schlager song with some of Ingela "Pling" Försman's best lyrics, and went straight to the final.

Jessica's demo reveals that she didn't sing "Jag ljuger så bra" with the spunk of Linda; Linda sells the song with charming bravado that enhances the lie of the song's protagonist, who brags to her ex about how life is better without him while secretly wanting him back. I'm glad she made the choice she did--both of them, in studio, are perfectly suited to the songs they ended up with. Still, hearing Jessica's voice on an uptempo schlager song makes me wish once again for the album we could have had if "Kalla nätter" and "Du får för dig att du förför mig" had taken off instead of the one we got once retro ballad "I Did It For Love" did well in 2010.

(Edit: a bit of research I should have done earlier reveals that Jessica was also offered and turned down "Evighet," which went to Carola and became the eventual winner of Melodifestivalen 2006. Also, as Alexander and this interview point out, "Jag ljuger så bra" was written specifically for and about Jessica, who was in the process of divorcing her husband at the time. However, when both the songs she sang on, "Jag ljuger så bra" and "Kalla nätter, were accepted into Melodifestivalen, she had to make a choice. She alludes to pressure from Bert Karlsson factoring into the decision she made and says that "Jag ljuger så bra" still feels, to her, like her song.)

You can purchase the gold edition of Melodifestivalen 10 År På Turné 2002-2011, which contains the demo CD, here (physical). I'm eager for my copy to arrive so I can start the two years it will probably take me to finish reading the included book.

1 comment:

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