samedi 21 juillet 2007

Nouveau Riche's Pink Trash

Another swedish album for tonight, bought on again, and found in the same parcel as Magnus Carlsson : the long awaited Nouveau Riche duet's first album Pink Trash.

When I first wrote about them here (see in my blog's archives on 10/02/07), their album was supposed to be called Matters of the heart... It's finally made it to Pink Trash and the cover is fabulous with these two mannequins close-up face to face. My version of the CD is not the digipack but the simple crystal box so as for Magnus' there's no lyrics included here, nor lots of photos but what is impressive is the tracklisting : 16 tracks!
But your CD player will indicate 18 as there's an introduction at 17 to the bonus Dusty Springfield cover version of the Pet Shop Boys written song In private as track 18 as well as new single apparently... There's a Soundfactory remix of it floating on the net...

Nouveau Riche's male part, Ulrich Bermsjö, looks here like the mastermind behind the project because he co-wrote some songs when Camilla none. Army Of Lovers' heritage proof lies here in the contributors : Magnus Frykberg, Mattias Lindblom & Anders Wollbeck (aka Vacuum), Jeanette Olsson, Emil Hellman and... Mister Alexander Bard himself it seems!

The album is much darker electro cold pop than Magnus' campy disco cheese so I would say it's a cross between Vacuum and BWO, although at some moments, there is some AoL extravaganzza too (Psychosexuality makes me think of an electro remix of Heterosexuality from Army Of Lovers' Gods of Earth & Heaven album). Included are Nouveau Riche's previous songs with Dominika, Oh Lord, Hardcore life & It's my party, but resung by Camilla, latest single, Angels, and more potential single material like the evident choice of the Vacuum written Wounds of love, Stay (where Camilla takes the lead), the fabulous anthem It's my party, the camp cover Calling all boys or Atomic love.
Their cover of In private is a good revival of the Dusty Springfield classic of 1989 and I suspected that Camilla, who sang backing vocals on the album of Pet Shop Boys cover versions of swedish West End Girls, wanted to do her part in the PSB Tribute... So it came as a surprise to hear Ulrich sing it all (or it seems). I don't know what it is with the Pet Shop Boys and Sweden but swedish people tend to like to sing their songs more than anyone (remember Alcazar sang Lovelife too!) and I won't complain at all! I'm a PSB addict !

The only plus they could have made would have been to include at the end the Soundfactory radio mix of Angels 'cos it transformes the ballad song in a club anthem and I like it maybe more than the original but I'm still satisfied with the original tracklisting : I will only add this one to my mp3 player's version of this album that will stay for long in my favourites ...for sure!

Magnus Carlsson's first post Alcazar english album

After a self-named solo album in swedish in 2006 and a swedish/english christmas album the same year, Spår I Snön, ex Alcazar (and former Barbados) singer Magnus Carlsson has finally released his first album in english. Named after his entry of this year MelodiFestivalen, Live Forever, it includes the A-Ha inspired single version as well as an accoustic one and 11 other disco pop gemms. THIS song should have gone to Eurovision's night instead of The Ark's one and sure 2008's party would then have been in Stockholm! This tune was Take on me Part II, vamped up for 2007 and with some Magnus' incredible vocal performance. Magnus even recorded this song in french (and spanish) on the CD single and although it suffered of some translation (its title J'ai vivrai is ungrammatical and should have been Je vivrai), like previous Alcazar's french version of Here I am, his french singing is charming and I'd be ready, more than willing & able to help him with his french accent with some tutoring anytime he wants .

The new single Waves of love is a summer anthem in the making but the album is full of pure pop dance hits. Crazy summer nights, I won't cry, Another rainbow, Give a little love, Don't you worry, You, Boogie time should ALL become singles as they're catchy as hell!
Magnus has worked with 3 different swedish songwriting/producing teams (HitVision, Thomas Thörnholm & Michael Clauss and Figge Bogström) but they've managed to create a full on disco pop anthem party from track 1 to 12, just before Magnus calms it down with his piano led acoustic version of Live forever. Track 7's midtempo, Never walk away, was right at the middle to slow it down a little too.
Live Forever - The Album is so much the follower of Alcazar's Alcazarized album that I now nearly can bear with the lack in my heart this missing quatuor have created. Andres, Magnus, Tess & Annikafiore were such a fabulous group I still hope they reunite someday. Till then, and with Andres' career not as sparkling as his ex boyfriend's, we only have this CD to help us forgive them for parting away...

I had waited for this CD to come in my post for long (it is an import from Sweden you know, thank you!) and I was hoping for a great surprise maybe with the booklet or hidden tracks... I was deceived : no printed lyrics nor bonus included! I was so harder deceived that the iTunes version of the album includes some bonus material and I can't understand why Warner Music gave bonuses for digital downloads and none for CD buyers.
THAT will only lead to the die of the CD format! And I still like having that piece of plastic in my hands, opening it up feverishly to read the notes, discover who wrote what, who produce what, which guests have been invited, sing along to it with the help of the lyrics...

Instead, I've been to iTunes and have bought the bonus tracks to complete the tracklisting and the added part is GREAT!
Nothing less than 3 other new songs plus a demo version of one of the songs that made it to the CD version plus some remixes, and the newbies What about love, I found love & I belong to you could all have fitted in the original tracklisting. The space was enough to include them too so that makes me hate it a little more when the music industry takes us CD buyers for fools : that can only lead to peer-to-peer files trade and make consumers take over the market.

Till then I hope there'll still be plenty of releases of that quality on CD and I will sure buy them all ! I'm so proud to have this new CD in my personal discothèque.
I also hope Magnus will release plenty of singles off it just to get them with fabulous remixes as we've been used to with its Alcazar & former releases... Bring Emil Hellman & his Soundfactory's mixes in! There's never enough of a good song and there ain't a bad one here!

vendredi 6 juillet 2007

From under Her to His Umbrella...

Sometimes nowadays, R&B charts unleash a tune that is poppy enough to appeal to me and make me want to dance to its beat.
There haven't been loads in the last past years but, to name a few, I'd admit I've liked Beyoncé's Crazy in love original or all her recent Freemasons remixes, Rihanna's S.O.S. or Umbrella, and not only remixed, even in its original flavour...
The point must be that when a song is good, whatever the arrangements, dance, R&B or acoustic, the song will reach you straight to the heart!

And that leads me to where I'm going tonight : just before going to sleep (I still have to wake up early tomorrow morning 'cos it's one more saturday morning of work...), I wanted to share with you a link that I just came up to tonight and it's so good I want to share it with everyone :
Just go to this MySpace page : and click on the music player to listen to this man's own rendition of Rihanna's last hit Umbrella...
He's made a haunting mid-tempo sticky version of the syncopated R&B track and it's pure genius... His rendition must become a HIT very soon or the whole music industry doesn't deserve to be saved...

It may be a shame for an artist that apparently is a songwriter first to break it with a cover maybe but it must be because of his songwriter & arranger talents that he's magnified this already instant song and made a true musical pearl of it.
Add to this that his version will still sound fresh in a decade as its sounds are untemporal and you've got a hit! A shame it is not him that have released Umbrella first...