Top 9 Most Ace Swedish Pop Songs of 2006

Friday, December 29, 2006

It's the time of year when pop-pickers start to compile their 'top songs of the year'. Lists have already appeared on #1 Hits from Another Planet, dirrty pop, karinski and Indie Girl & Pop Boy.
For my list, I've decided to compile my top 9 most ace Swedish pop songs from 2006. So, in no particular order other than numerical, here we go:

1. Jessica Andersson - Kalla natter

JessicaThis Melodifestivalen song didn't make it through to the finals. Jessica Andersson's performance was a little odd, which is a pity as Kalla Natter is an excellent pop song par excellence with a great opening, nice vocal melodies, a storming chorus and the words "Går vi närmre och närmre varann" in the second line with just sounds cool.

2. Bodies Without Organs - Chariots of Fire

BWOBWO gave Carola a run for her money in the Melodifestivalen final with the excellent Temple of Love. My favourite song from them this year was Chariots of Fire from their second album. The album overall had a few misses, but its hits were spectacular. Chariots of Fire is just one, with an excellent chorus, melody and lyrics which suggest continually trying to reach pop perfection. Buy Halcyon Days

3. Marie Serneholt - Enjoy the Ride

MarieEx A-Teens popette Marie Serneholt's album was pretty great. My favourite song, without a doubt, was Enjoy the Ride. It's ever so slutty, but comes off sounding oddly innocent. Using a horse riding conceit for a riding of a whole other kind (the Irish slang kind...), the song has excellent clip-cloppy sound effects. Horses hooves, people!!! Special marks also for the lyric "straddle the seat". Buy Enjoy the Ride

4. Le Sport - Your brother is my only hope

Le SportNow sadly split up, Le Sport (or Eurosport?) were a very quick ray of electro-poppy brilliance. Taking tATu's teenage lesbian idea, but changing it to boys with a fascination for the Pet Shop Boys, Le Sport had some excellent songs such as If Neil Tennant was my Lover. I was torn between choosing Chemical Drugs or Your brother is my only hope for the list, but the latter song won out for the "Kathy, Lisa, Mary-Beth" line and the wonderful small-town-gay feeling that it invokes.

5. Linda Sundblad - Pretty Rebels

LindaLinda's debut solo album Oh My God!, released this year, was amazing and made bloggers stand to attention. Pretty Rebels is a highlight, with an all-too-cute line declaring that "we're the babies, born in the 80s". Yes, Linda, yes we are. Buy Oh My God!

6. Magnus Carlsson - Lev Livet

MagnusMagnus' entry for Melodifestivalen was pure schlagery greatness, and didn't really deserve to come in 8th position. It has a catchy sing-a-long chorus, plinky-plonky bouncy verses and a great build for a key change. The complicated choreography probably cost it a vote or two, so let's hope Magnus' song for 2007 Melodifestivalen will be equally as ace but with better dancing. And let's hope he continues wearing suits. Rarrr, Magnus.

7. Andreas Lundstedt - Lovegun

AndreasThis is wonderful filth from Magnus ex (colleague). A Swedish friend of mine claims to have been "friendly" with Andreas, friendly so as to avoid libel action. I asked him if he saw Andreas' lovegun. The link was lost on him. Evoking disco, evoking Studio 54, evoking oral sex, and with enough phallic images to shake your stick at, this is glorious disco-smut - you have to love it.

8. Kikki Danielsson - I dag & i morgon

KikkiA Swedish guy I know once told me that nobody in Sweden likes Kikki! It's no wonder she ended up last in the MF final. Poor Kikki! Having been on the Swedish version of You Are What You Eat, she's a bit like Michelle McManus but 1000 times more ace, as this song proved. It had bells, it had sing-a-long chorus, it had a sort-of triumphant 'I beat the booze and now I'm singing a song about it' sentiment. Most of all, it had Kikki on stage in a glorious pink kaftan. Viva Kikki D!

9. Amy Diamond - Big Guns

AmyA rallying cry for all Swedish tweenies - don't let The Man (or the Gentlemen with the Sharp Tongues) tell you what's cool. Except if he's saying that cool = Amy Diamond. Cos that's correct. I love this song for the line "Have a cookie and some television". Buy This is Me Now

So they're the top 9 most ace Swedish songs of the year. The first 5 songs can be downloaded, by clicking links. There were loads of songs I didn't include, and if the list proves anything it's that Swedish pop is just 100% pure ace brilliance.

...oh, if you're wondering about the absence of the divine Carola and Evighet / Invincible - she reigns supreme, like a deity overseeing all. I preferred Evighet, the Swedish version, simply for the line "ingenting kan stoppa mig, det blåser en vind" which means "nothing can stop me, a wind is blowing". This is ace because:

b) it uses ingenting, the unofficial word of all Swedish schlager songs.

God bless thee, Carola. Watch an ace MF medley performance here. About 4 minutes in, Carola goes whoopsy-daisy, head over feet, suspended above the audience. It's amazing.

Happy Christmas Island

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I'm leaving on a jet plane tomorrow for Ireland, so would like to take this opportunity to say Happy Christmas Island to all you lovely people reading and commenting here. It makes me very chuffed.

I'm in a very festive mood now, but the list of potential Christmas number 1s is not festive at all. Sure Leona's A Moment Like This has a certain "seize the moment and live it" charm which could be said to be Christmassy, and Girls Aloud offer the soundtrack to so many drunken Christmas parties with I Think We're Alone Now...

But! There are no bells! Bells are what Christmas music is all about!

Here to rectify this is supermodel Heidi Klum with Wonderland. Hurrah for this. It's so schlagery it could be Swedish but it's German - where the word schlager came from. There's bells, a children's choir, high oh oh oh parts, more bells - it's cheesy Christmas cheer in one brilliant song.

Download Heidi Klum - Wonderland (right click - save as) [file removed]

This is the first mp3 I've posted on acediscovery, but I feel it won't be the last. Hurrah.

Happy Christmas!

West End Girls

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Last night, I went to see West End Girls, a Swedish pop duo. Their name says everything about them. They sing cover versions of Pet Shop Boys' songs. They dress like the Pet Shop Boys. They move like the Pet Shop Boys. Hell, I'd think it was the Pet Shop Boys on stage... if they were two Swedish teenage girls.

West End Girls

The clothes they wore were grey. This was not exciting. I wanted something more like the red PVC they wear on their myspace. They were not wearing red hard hats. They did sport sharp black bob wigs. This was somewhat more exciting.

They sang a number of songs, to an amused audience. The best songs were Always on my Mind and Suburbia. One West End Girl stayed behind the keyboard, plinking away with a sullen, straight face. The other West End Girl bopped about the stage singing, doing jerky dances which I can only assume Neil Tennant does or did. She's copying these because she's clearly an uber fangirl. She tries to maintain a straight, sullen face, but you can tell she's loving it.

It's all a bit strange, but I enjoyed it. Imagine X-Factor but, like, much better performers covering the Pet Shop Boys with girly poppier vocals, and slightly dancier music. I'm sure they're making some very clever statement about fandom and mimicry and post-modernism. There's something quite Japanese about their dress-up-and-be-the-Pet-Shop-Boys act. Overall West End Girls are quite original, even though they're singing covers, so hurrah for them and hurrah for another Swedish pop act playing gigs in London.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Robyn> I saw ace Swedish pop-star Robyn play the second of two London gigs last Friday at Puregroove at the Hoxton Bar & Kitchen. Robyn's 2005 album combines acoustic guitars, electro synths and hip-hop beats with cute, cool vocals and lyrics. It is ace, an amazing album.

Opening her set with the ‘I-know-I’m-better-than-you’ sentiment of Handle Me, it was clear that Robyn was here. Backed by just one guitarist / drummer, the music was pared back and minimal, with Robyn’s cool, emotional vocal style to the fore. This detracted from the familiar synthy sounds of some of her songs, which was something of a shame but her vocal style more than made up for this.

What a style! At times confident and boastful, she taunted the audience, but we always knew it wasn't us, she was just playing. And then fragile, sentimental and bittersweet, we just wanted to reach out and touch. Playground tauting, in-your-face hip-hop styled Konichiwa Bitches and Cobrastyle were strong, uptempo songs. Robyn controlled and sparred with the audience, and we loved it.

I was struck by her on-stage behaviour: Robyn raised her fists, clenched her eyes, snarled her lips, and appeared frantically breathless at times. I was expecting polished Swedish pop star, so as stage presence goes, it was certainly surprising but utterly engaging. This was Robyn, raw, emotional and up close.

Sadly, two of my favourite songs from the album weren't played (Who's that Girl? and Crash & Burn Girl). The set focused on her more acoustic and edgy material. Ending with the very excellent and bittersweet Be Mine, the audience joined in, convinced and won over by a very impressive pop star.

See my review of Robyn on

Robyn official site Robyn myspace Buy The Rakamonie EP

Tatiana's map of Russia

Friday, December 01, 2006

I met Tatiana, from Moscow, at a party last week. Tatiana was ace, she has recently arrived in London. We talked about: gays, WWW, Leningrad, countesses, communists, religion, the Russian alphabet, VIA Gra, hair, the Russian for "cat", Dima Bilan, how to say "how are you" in Russian and many other exciting topics.

I asked Tatiana to draw a map of Russia. Here it is.

Russia, by Tatiana

Also new is another map of the world. Markus, from somewhere near Stuttgart drew this, as he had seen Tatiana drawing her map. I have already 'got' Germany, so I asked him to draw the world.

Markus' world