lundi 6 avril 2009

Velvet is the Queen of swedish Pop

I first heard of Jenny Petersson, a swedish blonde whose stage name is Velvet, when she entered the Melodifestivalen in 2006 with the TWIN produced latin R&Bish Mi amore. It didn't stand a chance to win, Carola's Invincible only could be the one, but it made me search for who she was and I discovered she had covered Livin' Joy's Don't stop movin' the year before with the help of September's producer Jonas von der Burg. It made me take interest in her album Finally but I found it was a mixed affair of R&B, pop & dance with great moments, from City of angels to DJ take me or the wonderful In & out of love including the other von der Burg production & single Rock down to (electric avenue) using Eddy Grant's song. But there was too many styles & filler tracks to really win my heart, compared to September's latest albums for example, 2004 September and 2005 In Orbit.
I still kept an eye on her though and she followed the album with a brand new song as single, Fix me like if she knew the album needed new seeds. Like City of angels, she worked with Niklas Pettersson and that song was a winner. The album as re-issued in some places with Fix me as a bonus track and I finally bought me the polish CD/DVD edition...
Then came further new singles, Chemistry, Déjà vu (she took to Melodifestivalen 2008 without winning for a second time in a row), then Take my body close and finally The queen, once again in Melodifestivalen 2009. And all these singles were WINNERS ! I couldn't wait more for a full length CD of her, wondering why it didn't came... Forget about September, it has now. It is called The Queen and it sounds more like a Greatest Hits than just an album. It would have been if the best songs of Finally had appeared on it too but they can be added to the digital version we make for our MP3 players. The fact is this new album is an absolutely must-have for every popmusic lover, post-PWL addict, Euro fan and swedish pop follower !

1/ THE QUEEN 10/10
People take a bow... I am, I am, I am the queen starts the CD and we instantly fall on our knees to show some respect to the pop perfection Tony Nilsson has written & produced for miss Jenny. Dance arrangements, memorable melody and easy-to-sing-along chorus, this song had everything to win her the ticket to Eurovision but the swedish people had a different mind (Alcazar's Stay the night was even better but neither of them won...). This song is the perfect intro though to the new musical world of The Queen Velvet.
2/ CHEMISTRY 10/10
Like Fix me before, Chemistry was produced by Niklas Pettersson and it's another dance-pop perfection. Although being a single in 2007 in her homeland, her UK new record company has chosen it to be her first single to start what can oponly become an international carrier for sure. Good verses, uplifting pre-chorus and memorable chorus once more with good rhythm and nice beats plus some na na na na bits to help people sing along in the bridge. It deserves a UK Top5 chart placing. Pete Hammond has even made a retro mix like he did with Alphabeat's Boyfriend last year, and it needs to be released as an alternative radio version 'cos it feels so good to feel like it was PWL times all over again.
Pitchline Productions on duty this time for another winner. Take my body close keep us on the dancefloor for another 3'30 of pop perfection. How can it be ? It took her 3 years to release it but she only took the best recorded songs for sure ! The melody is even more appealing than the previous ones and it needs to be a further international release too.
An echoed intro gives us a few seconds to rest before entering into another brilliant piece of pop designed for the dancefloor. Ooh it's on my mind she goes on Sound of music's chorus and we can't help keeping this one more tune totally glued into our ears after just one listen. It is sure to become one of her following singles !
5/ RADIO STAR 9,5/10
This other Tony Nilsson written/produced song starts with electronized sounds like on Daft Punk's Around the world but then it goes back into pure dance-pop territory once more. I wanna make it serious she sings in the Radio star chorus and she's got another potential hit in her hands here. Maybe less instant than the previous ones but of quality too. I especially adore the end of the song with her voice being cut off like if you had put the CD player off-line...
6/ MY RHYTHM 10/10
Another french touch's influenced intro builds up into a more dance than pop anthem with My rhythm, once more with Niklas Pettersson on duty. The chorus is particularly uplifting and moving, making me stand up and put my hands up in the air to sing along with her. And I can't get enough of the gimmickly "Are you ready?" addition in some key points of the song. There's a lot of vocoderized additional vocals all along the song and it makes me think of Daft Punk & cie, in a more commercial approach.
7/ PLAY 4/10
Play is the one and only let-down of the album ! So seeing Niklas Pettersson in the credits isn't warrant of perfection after all... Jenny goes into laidback and etheral atmosphere with this very mid-tempo that only leaves me bored. I even skip it now when I listen to the album. Maybe other people needed a rest after 6 dancing anthems but I was ready for some more straight away.
Thankfully, Come into the night brings back the good beats and this time, it's all in the schlagger-pop from Sweden. The song is just a little too longer at 3'27 or it could have been another entry for Eurovision (3' format). It has key changes, feelgood melody and dance arrangements. Once more, the Pitchline boys are on board for a winner and further single for sure.
9/ DEJA VU 9,5/10
This already-one-year-old Velvet tune is included (but wasn't Chemistry too?) and we stay in the Europop with this song that didn't win her a ticket to Belgrade in last year's Melodifestivalen. Produced by TWIN like Mi amore, Déjà vu pushes all the right buttons this time.
You must have already known by its title, this new track is a cover of the Ultravox hit of the 80's. Velvet goes into pure Eurodance style with it maybe reminiscent of what Novaspace already did with the song a couple of years ago. Good version but nothing new, alas... Or maybe have we heard too many dance cover versions of it already ? Or is it because her original songs are so good that we don't need her signing some cover song ?
11/ FIX ME 10/10
Like I already said, this Niklas Pettersson previous single is another perfect pop-dance anthem and its inclusion here is a good thing, for those who bought Finally before its re-release for example. It would have bettered if included previously at the start of the CD and then here near the end in its calmed down acoustic version. But hey, I must find something to complain about... Else, I'd have nothing wrong to say.
12 MY DESTINY 10/10
A beautiful piano intro gives us the pace for this last song and you can bet My destiny is the other downtempo of the album, but what a difference with Play ! When the first one was boring and went nowhere, this new ballad builds up calmly into a solid and vocally strong uplifting anthem, like Bird in flight was on Scooch's album ; Jenny's voice shows off here and we now know she's not just a beautiful face (and body) whose voice can be handled well by studio wizzards. With only a piano, she can shine with magic and strength. Please, someone, make Celine hear this new Pitchline song to cover it on her next album ! The canadian lady needs good material and this one would suit her voice nicely.
13/ THE QUEEN (REMIX) 10/10
Tony Nilsson has made a remix of his opening song and it is a slightly more dance oriented remix that clocks here at 3'38. Perfect for me, even if it doesn't add a lot more to the original.
I can't understand why this is the Digital Dog full length remix that has been chosen to end this yet perfect tracklisting. Their sound is more electro & hyped for sure but the radio edit would have fitted nicely and it could have been followed by some more remixes or bonuses like leaked demo Superlove. But now that I know the one and only ex PWL MixMaster Pete Hammond (aka God, nearly...) has remixed it, I had hoped it would be HIS remix that would fit The Queen tracklisting. Maybe on the UK edition... ?

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