Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Big December Meloupdate

Our new massive Meloupdate is coming with some new releases from next season participants, some other melorelated interesting information and Swedish-related news from Eurovision.
Well, let's start from one of our most anticipated artists - Dilba. Success of this amazing artist has started 14 years ago with single "I'm Sorry" becoming real classic hit of Swedish pop (you can check covers by September and Sonja Alden as examples of how this song is beloved) and now before debut in completely new area for Dilba - Melodifestivalen where she will show her new dance side Dilba presents first sneak peak of how good she can sound in dance-music and it's remix of "I'm Sorry" - very stylish trance-track made by Deejay Jay. Few years ago Kaveh Azizi has made another mix of this song - not less interesting just good in its own way, so sure we don't mind now this great song finally gets its official release in the mix, check it below.

Babsan as well has recently presented her Christmas single "Alla dessa jular" and it's exacly what you could expect from drag-artist working with After-dark before - kitchy, schlageristic and happy.

SVT has shown its annual chronicle of Melodifestivalen reviewing one more time everything that happened at latest season so if you want - you can take your ticket to time machine and remember how it was - all those great triumphs and bitter falls. Check it here.

Popular bets site Svenska Spel has published its odds for the winner and surprisingly it names Melody Club as the biggest favorite. Both previous years #1 pre-favorites didn't win but was in the final so good luck to Melody Club. Sure it's just predictions without any real base before songs are heard but there are some interesting moments we can mention like Elisabeth Andreasson quite low that points that she's not in that favorite schlager-league and will need to work hard to compete with younger schlager-rivals. Le Kid has climbed to #4 even though newcomers are rarely estimated well so big hopes are on them. Linda Pritchard is much higher by odds than year before and Rasmus Viberg with Simon Forsberg are examples of how newcomers can be underestimated (in my opinion).

Preselections are starting in other countries as well and you can already find some announced Swedish composers there. Romania will show its preselection final at December 31st in New Year's Eve and one of competitors is Claudia Pavel with the song "I Want You to Want Me" co-written with Örebro team Johan Fransson, Pontus Assarsson, Tim Larsson and Tobias Lundgren responsible for such a classic melohits like "Alcastar", "Om Natten", "Kalla Nätter", etc. And Norway that has chosen song of Fredrik Kempe and Hanne Sørvaag (Norwegian songwriter living in Sweden) year ago this time gets songwriting team Simone Larsen, Moh Denebi, Bjørn Djupström and Jennifer Brown (who participated in Melodifestivalen-2009 with the song "Never Been Here Before") performed by Noora Noor, by the way Hanne Sørvaag will participate in Norwegian MGP this time as artist with her own song "You’re Like a Melody".

And the last interesting news. Remember before I told you that Malena Ernman's "La Voix" being covered by Philipp Kirkorov and Anna Netrebko was awarded as Best Song and Best Duo of this year by the biggest Russian radio? Now cover has got video-treatment and it looks really not bad!!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Idol runner-up Minnah Karlsson releases debut album

Idol-2010 runner-up Minnah Karlsson has released her self-titled compilation "Minnah Karlsson" with covers from Idol. The winner Jay Smith's album was sold platinum for less than week debuting at #1 of album chart (when his "Dreaming People" was first Swedish Idol winning song not debuting at #1 ever - it has debuted at #3) so let's see how high Minnah's album will be able to climb.
Minnah as Jay had qute a lot of highlights on the show and compilation contains maximum of them. I'll be missing "Paparazzi", "Ambitions" and especially "What you waiting for?". Though, no, Pixie Lott's "Here We Go Again" and "Dreaming People" more but they weren't meant to be on the album from the beginning. Minnah's album includes both fresh hits like "Whataya want from me", "Just the way you are" and "When love takes over" (their arrangements are almost untouched comparing with originals so only Minnah's voice is tasty decoration of these works) and classic stuff like "Always on my mind", "Total eclipse of the heart", "Everything I do I do it for you" and "Alone" and here you can hear some surprising changes, for example "Everything I do I do it for you" was wrapped in more actual beat making it sound like modern ballad and ballad-part was completely deleted from "Alone" but the song hasn't lost at all becoming strong radio-pop-rock-track (one of the strongest album tracks that would be great to get as separate single). Sure the biggest Minnah's moment of Idol with "Twist and Shout" is on compilation as well and though visually crazy retro-style Minnah is much more interesting but still she's completely in this record - twisting, shouting and making smile you wide. "Piece of my heart" from auditions and "Not ready to make nice" released earlier on Idol-compilations were also included in tracklist.
Today Minnah came to Aftonbladet studio to perform her Idol-hit "Not ready to make nice" and "Mama Do" of Pixie Lott - how great was to hear cover of Pixie that provided "Here We Go Again" presenting Minnah on auditions like that charming and funny girl with rock-voice that audience has fallen in love with and girl that hopefuly will make long music career after this very first but memorable step.

Whataya want from me
Twist and Shout
Just the way you are
Always on my mind
Calleth you, cometh I
Total eclipse of the heart
When love takes over
Everything I do I do it for you
Piece of my heart
Not ready to make nice

Eric Saade - Still Loving It

Eric Saade presents brand new single "Still Loving It" from his second album planned for next Summer!
2010 was really Eric's year, Melodifestivalen has made him huge star in Sweden and during Summer he was invited to all biggest Swedish TV-shows and loads of fans were really glad to know that Eric will try luck on Melodifestivalen next year again with another Fredrik Kempe's song "Popular" that due to promises will be even better and show will be much more complicated and expensive. Just like year before when Eric presented his "Sleepless" before the contest this time he has premiered new song that will be released in connection with his participation in Disney channel Christmas show.
"Still Loving It" is written by Eric, Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad and Niclas Lundin (trio behind Eric's "Why Do We Need Fashion!?" and Anton with Niclas also have written Melodifestivalen song for Sara Lumholdt), it's modern dynamic ballad starting with piano goosebumps giving intro progressing with r'n'b beat and pre-chorus boysband backing vocals to crazy epic chorus and it keeps growing and growing to ecstatic final choruses. You didn't hear anything like this from Eric before and you just have to check it right now!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas with Måns

One of the most long-awaited winter releases of this year "Christmas With Friends" was provided by Måns Zelmerlöw. Album was released in charity collaboration with ICA market and sold nowhere except ICA shops but supported by digital singles "December" and "Vit Som En Snö" featuring Pernilla Andersson - the only original tracks of the albums. The rest of the songs are traditional Christmas covers as it happens usually on this sort of albums. But it wouldn't be fair to speak about Måns' album as another Christmas album because actually it's quite nice experiment in completely new style for Måns being almost 100% jazz-record with quite special mixed atmosphere of retro, musicals, it's not trying to sound like big band-jazz of 30-40ies, it sounds very naturally like it was recorded then, sure with modern production but Måns just floating out in your mind in black and white colour performing at some glamourous VIP-party entertaining public in old suits and dresses. You're diving into this atmosphere of retro-party right from the opening "Jag drömmer om en jul hemma/White Christmas" and this track presents another trend - this album contains both Swedish and English covers. You'll hardly find here any sadness or Christmas melancholy, mostly it's playful happy mood and loads of energy and big wide smiles in such beloved gems like "Christmas (Baby please come home)", "Christmas song" and "Winter wonderland". Though fans of classic religious ballads also get amazing treatment with "The angel Gabriel" - probably the deepest track of the album - epic and spiritual and being one of a kind becoming especially precious. Another ballad-highlight of the album is duo "Vit Som En Snö" with Pernilla Andersson that in contrast with cheerful jazzy "December" is fragile and delicate love-ballad single. Another duo on the album is arranged for cover of "All I want for Christmas is you" performed with Pauline, earlier Måns recorded this song with Agnes and when Agnes was felt like primary vocalist artists are equal in this version, on the one hand track's losing identity on the other hand it's still as good as any track that could be performed by such pleasant voices. The album serves as great treatment for Christmas mood creation so if you'll just put it as background making some Christmas preparation I can promise you'll fall into this festive atmosphere not later than in 4-5 tracks.
Örebro had ability to watch amazing Christmas show "O, Helga Natt" with Måns as main artist this year and we're also becoming luckies to watch it now! Whole show was held in Allsång-format so beloved by Swedish public where everyone was involved in singing traditional songs with artists, Måns performed "Tomten Jag Vill Ha En Riktig Jul", "All I want for Christmas is you" and "Vit Some En Snö" with Pauline. Another invited artists were Moa Gagnert with quite impressive schlager-smelling performance and French tenor Avi Klemberg. I really recommend you to watch this Allsång-concert to get taste of real Swedish Christmas.

Amy Diamond delivers Christmas to Bingolotto

Amy Diamond's everywhere this Christmas and after acoustic intimate performance at Musikhjälpen she comes to Bingolotto with much more festive mood and two covers from her Christmas album "En Helt Ny Jul". And she does them 100% making dance-performance of "Hej Mitt Vinterland" and teaming up with Lotta Engeberg, Tommy Nilsson and Anna Christoffersson to sing classic "Tänd Ett Ljus" slowing down tempo but sharing warmth of friendly company.

Nordisk Julkonsert - 2010

Annual Nordisk Julkonsert has taken place in Ålborg with loads of Scandinavian (and not only) stars again. TV-audience as usual could enjoy incredibly beautiful stage, hall decoration, dresses, live arrangement and performances.
This year among invited stars you could see Erik Hassle, Sylvia Vrethammar, Kristian Anttila, Sissel Kyrkjebø, Alphabeat, Marie Carmen Koppel (Melodi Grand Prix 2009), Samuel Ljungblahd, Mario Frangoulis, Shakin' Stevens and Suzanne Vega. Before I pointed you to his performance with Alphabeat's Stine and here below you can watch him performing another hit in Denmark "Don't Bring Flowers When I'm Dead" and as well performance of Samuel Ljungblahd with Marie Carmen Koppel, Samuel is quite interesting soul-artist that had quite big demand this year and hopefully we'll hear more from him next year.
You can watch full concert here.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Schlager-triad at Lucia concert

Christmas weekend continues with some Swedish stars live performances dedicated to celebration.
Today I'd like to share with you live set from holy schlager-trio Sanna Nielsen, Shirley Clamp and Sonja Alden who participated in SVT's Luciamorgon with Darin (I showed you his "O Holy Night" before). Girls performed together classic Lucia song "Så mörk är natten" a cappella and acoustic version of Christmas song "Tänd ett ljus" written by Niklas Strömstedt and Lasse Lindbom in 1987 and becoming later Swedish Christmas claassic hit covered by many different pop-artists. Sonja also performed "Pie Jesu" solo souding very spiritual and strong with choir and acoustic sound of Kungsholm's church. By the way as you probably already know Sonja is pregnant with her first baby from her boyfriend Jörgen Karlsson and wait for baby in May, here you can watch her pic with already belly getting round. Tomorrow SVT will show Christmas music show with Sonja's participance in 18.10 of local time.

Sanna Shirley Sonja - Så mörk är natten
Sanna Shirley Sonja - Tänd ett ljus
Sonja Alden - Pie Jesu

Friday, December 24, 2010

Chris Lindh & Velvet - Merry Christmas

Finally we'd like to present you one of our most beloved Swedish Christmas songs "Merry Christmas" recorded by amazing Jenny "Velvet" Pettersson and Chris Lind (aka Bobby Summer and ex-Barbados) and released on Christmas compilation "Idrottens Julskiva" three years ago. This song doesn't sound like classic song you can expect from this kind of tracks, it starts with blues-verses giving with whistle very special impression of not that white positive Christmas fairytale with only positive characters, it's still faiytale but not that simple fairytale where everything's more complicated like it's in a real life but has a good final or to be more exactly - blasting shiny chorus spreading energy, happiness and Christmas mood with bells, kids singing and crazy cool live arrangement. We love Velvet, we love Christmas and we adore this song! Hope you too, one more time Merry Christmas dear readers and all our best wishes to you!

Simon Forsberg - The Christmas Song

I guess today I have the most proper night to present you Simon Forsberg, I'll explain why.
Earlier this year Simon was announced as one of Melodifestivalen-2011 participants, he's absolutely new face for Swedish pop-fans as he wasn't mentioned before in any huge releases but it doesn't mean this guy has no music background - before he participated in Fame Factory and different musicals. As well Simon works as personal trainer and he presented Sweden in international athletic competitions but it's time to try music competition. Among rare youtube videos with Simon his cover of "The Christmas Song" is probably the brightest example of what Simon's voice is about. Very strong, high and beautiful vocal that will be singing Fredrik Kempe's song "Tid att andas" in 3rd semifinal of Melodifestivalen-2011. You can watch a small video on Simon's facebook page where orchestra records strings for "Tid att andas" - and it looks impressive and should sound even more impressive! Our most beloved Fredrik Kempe's ballads are "Moving On" written with Sarah Dawn Finer and "Penny On A Sidewalk" written with Sharon Vaughn. Will he be able to write ballad as touching and magig on his own? We put really high hopes on this team of Fredrik and Simon and enjoy this lovely Christmas cover today.

Christmas congratulations from Jenny Berggren

Swedish Stereo wishes you Merry Christmas guys!!! Hope you'll celebrate it in good company and/or with some great music.
Only Christmas posts today and firstly I'd like to pass you amazing music Christmas congratulations from Jenny Berggren consisting from 2 parts. First one is Christmas story written by Jenny and with composition "To Isak" by her husband Jakob Petrén and the second part is Franz Gruber's classic Christmas anthem "Stilla natt" performed live in church by Jenny - very inspirational performance and very beautiful and careful present to fans. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

G2 feat. Kurt Nilsen - I Know You Know Why

Country genre has shown this year with Lady Antebellum's success that it still has international potential and Sweden was not exception with its diamonds following this style and here's one of it - G2.
G2 means Generation 2 - when it was formed 4 years ago band members Christoffer Olsson, Jens Koch, Erik Igelström, Tobias Strömberg and Jimmy Sunnebrandt have found out that everyone's father or uncle played bluegrass and country music though this is not the only thing making this title proper for G2 but their music as well sounds pretty fresh appealing to younger audience.
Band has managed to release their debut album "Where The Tall Grass Grows" and was awarded #1 European Bluegrass Band in 2007 and month ago they released brand new album "Untapped Routes" containing their new single "Conwy" that you can download here for free and duet with Norwegian Idol winner Kurt Nielsen and I'd like to present you this track as the best track of the album due to my opinion.
"I Know You Know Why" is country-ballad track sounding like if you take Idol-winning power-ballad and try to lull it with banjos and silky male vocal singing in a country manner. Final product is truly mellifluous thing and you can check it yourself below.

Sarah Dawn Finer - Winterland (review)

End of this year gave some albums I haven't managed to talk about yet and I hope to fix this before the end of month starting from Sarah Dawn Finer's splendid Christmas album "Winterland" that has already reached #2 in Sweden.
When Sarah announced in the first half of year that she was going to release acoustic album it was clear that it's gonna be good album and when later she revealed that it will be Christmas album there were no doubt left it will be fantastic and it hasn't disappointed at all becoming big beautiful Christmas story with 14-chapters - fragile fairytale gently purred with Sarah's sweet timber.
Album starts from "I'll Be Home For Christmas" classic mix of soul and Christmas ballad that demonstrates whole mood of this album with waving instrumentals and mostly soft Sarah's vocal that rarely gets high and strong here as if it can break fragile atmosphere of the album. Album has its core and it doesn't break strict distance but sometimes it's a bit more country, sometimes it's more classic, sometimes it's more gospel. Talking about highlights undoubtfully it's utterly touching "Maybe This Christmas" with Sarah's voice clicking all the necessary feelings - all the sadness and love of this song. "The Christmas Song" is track that just can't be covered bad and this smiling relaxing warm remake is not exception and could easily top collection of its best covers. Sarah McLahan's "Angel" is one of the most pleasant surpises of the album, you get it completely different with original, it's less impressive, it has huge Sarah's personality in every note and it's not less adorable than McLachlan's version, it's beautiful in it's own way. You can actually hear Sarah Dawn Finer's slight inspiration from Sarah McLachan in some songs like epic "In The Bleak Midwinter". Another surprising (or not?) song-choise is Scottish traditional "Auld Lang Syne" that is sung in Scottish by Eric Bibb - truly anthemic track. On the album you can find as well original song "I'll Be Your Wish Tonight" - calm piano-based ballad with gospell touch and chorus feeling like classic anthem. Duet "Winter Song" with Louise Hoffsten feels like the darker track with war drums, harmonica but thin melodic rays of light, the same complicated mood of everything sad and happy left before another Christmas border you can listen in beautiful Joni Mitchell's "River". Earlier Sarah performed Louis Armstrong's hit "What A Wonderful World" and on this album of different experiments and mixed genres and emotions it feels like something more poppier and straight. The album finishes with bonus-track "Karleksvisan" (Swedish version of "For A Friend" from previous Sarah's album "Moving On") and though in the beginning of the Summer when it was released there weren't any information about Christmas album you realize it track was just made to enter this album.
Tomorrow SVT will show Sarah's Christmas concert and though right now I can't give guarantee that it will be available ouside of Sweden but it has already got the link on SVT Play so check it tomorrow in 20.00 by Swedish time and follow our twitter for information about it. Right now you can check some Sarah's live performances with tracks from the album and convince yourself that you should buy it right away if you haven't done it yet.

UK's Favourite ABBA Song is...

British ITV channel recently organized poll "The Nation’s Favourite ABBA Song" to discover which ABBA's songs are more beloved and memorable in country. Results of this has become pretty amazing TV-show with participance of Frida, Björn and many huge stars like Jake Shears (Scissor Sisters), Pixie Lott, Westlife, Joe McElderry, Michelle Williams (Destiny's Child), Kate Nash, Robin Gibb (Bee Gees) and Nicole Scherzinger. So whole hour of ABBA's interesting stories connected with different songs, nice memories and impressions are available on youtube and below you can see links to 8 parts of the show.
Final chart contained some surprises like "Waterloo" only at #17 or "The Day Before You Came" in Top-3, but #1 was quite logical and it was "The Winner Takes It All". If you didn't see this show I really recommend you, you're gonna love it, I promise!

25 - Ring Ring
24 - Head Over Heels
23 - I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do
22 - Money Money Money
21 - Under Attack
20 - Voulez-Vous
19 - Does Your Mother Know?
18 - Summer Night City
17 - Waterloo
16 - Super Trouper
15 - SOS
14 - Lay All Your Love On Me
13 - I Have A Dream
12 - Take A Chance On Me
11 - Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight)
10 - Chiquituita
9 - The Name Of The Game
8 - One Of Us
7 - Fernando
6 - Mamma Mia
5 - Knowing Me, Knowing You
4 - Thank You For The Music
3 - The Day Before You Came
2 - Dancing Queen
1 - The Winner Takes It All

The Nation's Favourite ABBA Song (part 1)
The Nation's Favourite ABBA Song (part 2)
The Nation's Favourite ABBA Song (part 3)
The Nation's Favourite ABBA Song (part 4)
The Nation's Favourite ABBA Song (part 5)
The Nation's Favourite ABBA Song (part 6)
The Nation's Favourite ABBA Song (part 7)
The Nation's Favourite ABBA Song (part 8)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mohombi ft. Usher - Top Notch

Have we already got leaks for at least three or four Mohombi's albums?
Nothing official yet about even first of them that's planned to be released next year but leaks keep coming and here is another one.
"Top Notch" is demo recorded by Mohombi with Usher and produced by RedOne. Mohombi has already released singles with Nelly, Akon, Nicole Scherzinger on the way, and Usher is going to be another stunning point in Mohombi's portfolio attracting international audience to his person one more time. Comparing with previous singles, it's quite different, changing direction to more hip-hop in verses and coming with one of classic RedOne patterns in chorus, it's sitting deep down to your brain from the first listen but it's RedOne and it just can't be not catchy!

Fibes, Oh Fibes! - Driving Home For Christmas

Hope you don't mind if I'll share with you small pleasant Christmas flashback with Fibes, Oh Fibes! that I've discovered just yesterday but that happened already year ago.
Previous Christmas Fibes, Oh Fibes! being active in promotion period of their album "1987" presented Christmas cover of Chris Rea's "Driving Home For Christmas" at Bingolotto. Yes, Christian Olsson's voice sounded very similar to Chris' but band has managed to bring something their own, something warm, stylish and original, to wrap it in their style and how lovely was it! You're gonna enjoy it, it's a solid three minutes of the purest Christmas.

Rebound - Not Helpless (RINK's If Only You Knew Remix)

This Winter's going to be full of creative activity and plans for Rebound, it's "like a hurricane" and it starts today!
New RINK's If Only You Knew remix for their latest single "Not Helpless" was released followed by brand new video where you can watch mini-Rebound cheering up the crowd of contemporaries with this great track. Talking about mix - it's turned to be much more interesting than just remix, it sounds like completely new version of original song combining Robyn-smelling electro-pop production with more dancey beat but not losing original brilliant pop-tune, final product sounds like a hit and hopefully it will become hit! You can watch video here.
Soon we'll hear completely new single "Psycho" and this time we're finally gonna get music video with real Rebound, you can check "making video" clip with a small piece of the song right below and it seems like Rebound keeps their direction of modern pop with bigger urban touch and heavier electro-arrangement, very promising!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New Martin Stenmarck's music from Everest

This year Martin Stenmarck has tried exciting and dangerous experiment making bike-race to Himalayas with his friend Andreas Danielsson. Trip has finished with loads of impressions documented in whole released pack titled "Kaffe på Everest" including movie about Martin's journey, book and music written during it.
Today Martin has performed few tracks from "Kaffe på Everest" in Nyhetsmorgon and no surprises here - it's pop-rock material in English and more or less in style of Martin's albums, both tracks are quite enjoyable. "Sandstorm" is slightly meditative track bringing you somewhere to Himalayan faraway when "Ya Wakeel" is more energetic track with strong beat and powerful instrumental.
Not to unattach from Christmas theme, here also beautiful Christmas-smelling piano version of "Everybody's Change" performed by Martin in "Efter Tio" few weeks ago.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Alexander Pärleros feat. Alice Svensson - Jul Jul Jul

Seems like we didn't hear anything from sweet little Alice Svensson quite long so nice Christmas tune from her is more than welcome.
She has united with Alexander Pärleros to sing Christmas track "Jul Jul Jul" and when we know quite a lot about Alice (performing in one band with Amy Diamond and Zara Larsson, runner-up of Idol-2008 and loads of other highlights in her career), google gives some chaotic information about Alexander - as model representing Sweden at international contests, records man in eating burgers and businessman buying old mobiles. Ok, no music background but in this case it doesn't matter as common idea of the song is quite kitchy with loads of skin, sexy models and making fun. Very Gunther-looking concept, but we don't complain, Alice is sweet as little loveliest piece of sugar, bells are ringing, what else do we need? Nothing, so sit back and enjoy.

Swingfly feat. Franklie - Rags To Riches

WOW! Second Melodifestivalen artist's interactive premiere!
Before we told you about ability to shoot new video with Linda Sundblad for a song "I'm a Star" and now Swingfly has presented brand new single "Rags To Riches" featuring Franklie and again you can participate in new music video yourself.
If you heard some previous works of Swingfly you know that he likes to mix different styles and directions in music, so "Rags To Riches" is not exception and when you meet rap-verses flavoured with guitar-riffs and electro sound and start to think that it's another hip-hop track here you face blasting chorus with brilliant pop-rock tune you completely didn't expect but it sounds as perfect as best Swedish pop-chorus can be. In video you'll see well-known schlager-faces Rigo, Christer Björkman and... sure you! Brilliant single that you can listen below and make your video here.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Covenant - Lightbringer

Popular Swedish synth-band Covenant has provided this Autumn comeback with brand new single "Lightbringer" and album "Modern Run" planned for next January.
Project Covenant was born back in 80s by company of friends trying actual electronic direction and catching that wave of electronic music pushing bands like Kraftwerk and The Human League out to international scales. And Covenant has managed to be noticed by international synth-community as well touring a lot in Europe and releasing stuff in US. They were left underground in Sweden though not trying to become mass-product.
Radio-version of new single "Lightbringer" was produced by famous pop-producer Oscar Holter. Earlier Oscar worked on productions and mixes for such artists like Amy Diamond, BWO, Lily & Susie and he also performs as musician in synth-duo Necro Facility. Oscar also has provided radio-edit of Covenant's soundtrack "Wir sind die Nacht" for German same-title film.
"Lightbringer" is according to title very light optimistic track wrapped in accessible uplifting layers, classic synth-sound and robo-filtered rap turning to charming male vocals you can associate with Peter Heppner from Wolfsheim.

Jay Smith releases debut album "Jay Smith"

Idol-winner Jay Smith's album "Jay Smith" is out. You can find there all the biggest highlights Jay delievered on the show - all performances except Creed's cover (probably the most boring Jay's performance) and 3 retro-covers - Elvis, Sinatra and The Beatles. I think it's a shame "In The Ghetto" isn't on the album as it turned truly great cover - charming with Jay's vocal but different from usual Jay's growling range. But let's come back to what's included in tracklist. Expectedly it's "Black Jesus" - the biggest hit that made Jay winner already on auditions stage, epic "Like A Prayer" that sounds not any weaker in studio, the same about "Bad Romance" but in this case it sounds even more powerful than it was in live, previously released orchestral "Heart Shaped Box", boysband-goes-rock "I want it that way", All Saints' "Never Ever" as bonus-track and some other covers of rock-songs perfectly fitting Jay's voice. Oh, not to forget winning song "Dreaming People". But doesn't Jay want to forget it himself? If for a moment we'll try to look at this album without Idol-background we'll see the album of international level artist - does it sound any worse than any Nickelback's (or put any American radio-rock band here) album? I don't think so. But the problem that now Idol-label will be hard to erase from Jay's career. Wasn't "Dreaming People" with words "So, they threw you off but you got back up trying again. So, against the odds turned your face to the wind." sounding much more personal for Minnah - last jury's attempt to make sensation pulling her to the first place? We're not gonna know it as everything has gone due to the odds and now it's Jay who's gonna fight with his Idol-status by his rock-ground. What we see now watching Jay's performances is his complete lack of interest to hardly promote his first single - his winning song. Earlier Jay said that he doesn't really feel the song but why doesn't he try to stand for his release? The only answer I find here is attempt to trying to cut out all his Idol-side but is it right decision when it's what he worked for week by week? However hope it won't destroy his career before it has started as (I said it before) Jay has great rock-voice and if Sweden will need its own Chad Kroeger here he is.
Below you can listen Jay's studio version of "Dreaming People" and check tracklist of whole album.

1. Dreaming People
2. Like a Prayer (Madonna)
3. Rocks (Primal Scream)
4. Enter Sandman (Metallica)
5. Against all odds (Phil Collins)
6. White wedding (Billy Idol)
7. I want it that way (Backstreet Boys)
8. Bad romance (Lady Gaga)
9. Wherever you will go (The Calling)
10. Here without you (3 Doors Down)
11. Black Jesus (Everlast)
12. Heart Shaped Box (Nirvana)
13. Never Ever (Bonus Track)

Full Christmas pack from Erik Hassle

As you probably remember earlier this year Erik Hassle released EP "The Hassle Sessions: Volume One" - collection of significant songs in Erik's life covered in his own manner. Songs were recorded during his tour around US and UK - from some prestiogious studios to records on laptop in tour bus. It's not those hit-singles with Erik's bleeding heart dramatical keys shooting straight to masses of radio-listeners like his solo-stuff but relaxed mostly acoustic soul-experiments that served this Summer very well for fans waiting for a new Erik's music. Highlight of EP is Rihanna's "Russian Roulette" - the most sincere work with that touching tragical Erik's intonation we've fallen for 2 years ago. You can taste all tracks from EP below.

If you never had ability to see Erik live P3 Live provides opportunity to listen his Autumn concert in Sundsvall combining some old beloved hits (Don't Bring Flowers After I'm Dead, Wanna Be Loved, Love Me To Pieces, Hurtful) and relatively new tracks (Taken (Still In My Blood), Standing Where You Left Me, If It Takes All Night). Listen whole set here, you can trust us - Erik is among those artists trying to give live performances sounding not less interesting than studio records so his gig is really worth listening.

Recently Erik performed at Christmas show in Denmark performing his biggest hit "Hurtful" with local star Stine with orchestral goosebumps-giving arrangement and voices of both artists working amazing together!

Oh!!! And finally a small Christmas gift from Erik here.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Alexandra Jacovidou - Romeo

We've been waiting so long for studio-version of this version to leak and finally it's here!
Alexandra Jacovidou is one of young promising talents of Sweden who spent all her teen age participating in different music contests and as example of her latest success is victory in contest Schlagerstjärnan. In 2009 she was honoured to present Sweden in Çeşme Song Contest in Turkey and she was armed with the song of not less than Dimitri Stassos responsible for hits of Sofia, Ola, Sibel and many others. The song was initially released by Clea and then reworked as a new hit for Alexandra and now you can check it in all its brilliance.
"Romeo" is exactly that amazing combination you can expect when Scandinavian melodics meets hot rhythms of Southern Europe and warm breath of Mediterrian Sea. Reggaeton beat with Greek folk-music touch, Alexandra singing with all Swedish pop-artist passion and we're giving up! Unfortunately the song wasn't released because of Alexandra's problems with management but still we hope that Alexandra will find her way to a big audience sooner or later.

Robyn at Musikhjälpen

Feels like Musikhjälpen studio never had so many viewers outside the walls of glass studio. But no need to be surprised as its guest was the star of international scale and music pride of Sweden - Robyn.
Robyn performed piano-version of "Hang With Me" that probably was more proper for Christmas direction of the show and live-version of "With Every Heartbeat" - quite different from original but very nice. Enjoy!

Ulrik Munther - Boys Don't Cry

16-years-old Ulrik Munther, the winner of Lilla melodifestivalen 2009 and MGP Nordic with the song "En vanlig dag" has turned to be rare child artist who has managed to get real commercial success charting in iTunes. His songwriting skills was also mentioned not less than his side as performer and he's got signed by Universal. This year Ulrik has taken part in another contest Metro On Stage with the song "Life" where he competed with much more adult rivals but has reached 2nd place! So here you have a chance to download single "Life" completely for free!
Currently Ulrik is ready for a new release of next single "Boys Don't Cry" - lovely pop-rock track built from the beginning on Ulrik's voice and acoustic guitar growing with a massive beat to something sounding like a huge future radio-hit. Many American and English record companies are already looking for collaboration with Ulrik so there's a chance we're getting new big international star from Sweden. Below you can also check "making of" teaser from shooting of Ulrik's video for "Boys Don't Cry".

Friday, December 17, 2010

Arash - Broken Angel (video)

Arash has unleashed new video for his latest single "Broken Angel" that already managed to become hit on many European radiostations, few weeks ago he presented "making of" video and now final version is out and looks all sorts of amazing!!!
Video for "Broken Angel" is continuation of video for previous Arash hit "Pure Love" and the plot is built on Arash girlfriend's memories about her tragically gone love, video is quite expensive shot with tons of stylish computer graphics and lakes of tears, one of the most beautiful Swedish music videos this year, no doubt!

Sarah Dawn Finer - Maybe This Christmas

No day without Christmas live updates in this period and it's Sarah Dawn Finer who released her first Christmas album "Winterland" and who's gonna get my tips this time.
Though "I'll Be Your Wish Tonight" (original track written especially for the album) was intended initially to become single and promote the album seems like classic cover "Maybe This Chritmas" has become more popular for audience.
It's one of those multiple tracks from "Winterland" that doesn't matter where you hear or see - in radio-studio (watch below), on TV (watch here at 9.30 or below), in trade-center (here) or just listening in your player on a road to your office everytime combination of acoustic guitar and Sarah's lovely voice covers you with a charming Christmas feeling and brings some warmth and peace to your soul.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas-Amy at Musikhjälpen

Two years ago Amy Diamond released her first Christmas album "En helt ny Jul" so this theme is not new for her and it would be shame not to participate in some Christmas event being so fine in singing acoustic ballads (yes, as I said before I'm still conviced that dance-Amy is good but ballad-Amy is brilliant!). So Miss Diamond visited glass-studio of Musikhjälpen-show with beautiful acoustic performance of her version of "Julen är här" from "En helt ny Jul" and "It Can Only Get Better" - that undoubtfully enters top-list of Amy's ballad-stuff - touching, gentle and seems like Amy looks older (I've almost put money she never will).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Linda Sundblad - I'm a Star

Linda Sundblad preparing to Melodifestivalen-2011 participates in new exciting interactive project where you can become part of duet with her recording version of new hit "I'm a Star" with your voice (but it wouldn't be anything surprising) and shoot your video for this song together with Linda!
If you remember organization Radiotjänst pushed quite successful project before when everyone could upload photo and become folk's hero (at least in newly created mini-movie), that game has got a huge international success and it's time for a new project where you have a chance to become a pop-star just in few minutes.
Talking about the song "I'm a Star" is probably first pure dance-track Linda ever released. She did electro-pop (like "Let's Dance"), well, pop in all possible forms but "I'm a Star" is a pure dance track with David Guetta piano beginning smelling with The Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling" turning to urban verse immediately growing to explosive feel-good dance chorus with trancey layers.
Below you can check how this track sounds without additional vocals and here you can see example of how people become stars with Linda.

Vincent - Woman In My Bed

Oh, new Vincent's song! We buy it first, we check what is it about after!
Vincent appeared in music show Musikhjälpen today and performed his comeback-single "Baby Hurricane" and completely new song "Woman In My Bed" that sounds melodically a lot in new Vincent's direction but in more lyrical way. Finally arrangement will define how fast/slow this track will sound but we already love it - love tune, love Vincent's vocal, love full pack of music charm and can't wait for new album of this amazing artist.

Jay Smith in acoustic at XL live

Single of Idol-2010 winner Jay Smith "Dreaming People" is out in Sweden (we still haven't got in on youtube but as soon as it'll happen I'll give a tips) and here starts hot period for Jay with promoting his cover album coming out this week, touring, performing on TV and so on. So here is one of the first steps - visiting XL live with acoustic set. Being initially rock-singer such acoustic performances are completely his water to swim in so expectedly they it's very confident, professional and enjoyable mini-gig.

UPDATE: Later today Jay was involved in live performance for another huge media-source Aftonbladet performing his acoustic cover of "I Want It That Way" from Idol. Here it is.

Velvet - Only Girl (In The World)

Velvet has taken part in series of Christmas concerts Julgalan together with Alcazar, Brole, Darin, Pernilla Wahlgren and Hanna Lindblad and look what a great cover of Rihanna she performs there! One of the best dance hits of this year could have not be missed by Swedish dancing queen and it's fitting her perfectly, unfortunately video quality hardly allows to watch performance but sound is recorded quite well to enjoy it. Sure we'd like to get some new stuff from Jenny, earlier this year she released her version of "Stereo Love" and though we're eager to get completely new single we won't refuse to get cover of "Only Girl (In The World)" in studio as well!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Eric Prydz - Niton (The Reason) (video)

Eric Prydz presents brand new video for his latest single "Niton" featuring Jan Burton's vocal. Sample that "Niton" is based on probably will remind you "Pjanoo" but it has some massive dance layers and brilliant vocal line with lovely dramatical keys that makes it sound like even more promising track than "Pjanoo".
Video for "Niton" is pleasant animation that is in global scales not the newest thing but as it wasn't used a lot last years it feels like something fresh. Check it, it has a golden touch of Swedish House Mafia and like all the rest of their hit-tracks soon you'll listen it somewhere outside your window, in the shop, club, in fact I guess you already did.

Jay Smith wins Swedish Idol-2010

Jay Smith and Minnah Karlsson have met this year in the final battle of Swedish Idol, battle to get a new winner in 7-years history of the show and though due to different polls and odds Jay was huge favorite Minnah still was a dark horse of the show who was expected to leave the contest almost every of the last 6-7 weeks but she managed to surprise again and again constantly growing and here we got Minnah in the final!
Firstly contestants performed songs they've chosen themselves and when Jay performed Creed's "Higher" that looked more like static rock-performance in a way and sound Jay performed before Idol, Minnah has decided to bring more dynamic show with Gwen Steffani's "What You Waiting For?" - moves, lights, glitter and massive choreography that impressed jury much more. Second part of the show was performing songs chosen by audience and it was quite obvious choise of Minnah's "Twist and Shout" and Jay's "Like a Prayer" - both performances unfortunately looked weaker being presented not in especially hard times for Minnah and Jay they used to initially (Jay's problems with drugs and Minnah's comeback after elimination) but it wa time for Jay to get huge audience response. But finally it came to singing winning ballad "Dreaming People" written this year by Svante Halldin, Jakob Hazell, Sharon Vaughn and Christian Walz and though Minnah sang it like a real Idol-ballad, like it had to sound from touching start to huge culmination when Jay turned it more to rock-ballad nothing could stop him already and Jay became new winner of the Idol getting chance to release album with his Idol-covers already this Friday but Minnah has got this chance as well and her album will be released two days later on Sunday. Both artist has got their new sites (site of Jay, site of Minnah) and Jay's version of "Dreaming People" has already got #1 on Swedish iTunes.

Jay Smith - Higher
Minnah Karlsson - What You Waiting For?
Jay Smith - Like A Prayer
Minnah Karlsson - Twist And Shout
Jay Smith - Dreaming People
Minnah Karlsson - Dreaming People

A bit of Christmas-Darin

Seems like it was quite silent around Darin last weeks. Though his album was released already 4 months ago having 5 hits and it's time to start thinking about some new stuff. However Christmas is great period to show yourself on the most different events and sure Darin being one of the most popular artists in Sweden is really in demand.
Firstly few days ago he performed at St. Lucia's Day concert on SVT (with Sanna, Shirley and Sonya) singing classic anthem "O Holy Night" that sounded quite spiritual with church acoustic sound and Darin touching intonation.
Yesterday he appeared on another event on TV4 "Svenska hjältar" (Swedish heroes) where he presented David Bowie's "Heroes" with Jonna Lee, very beautiful performance with this epic original electro-track.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Bonus-goodies from Ola

For all those who complained (me too!) about only 10 tracks on this year album from Ola Svensson we've got few pleasant bonus-surprises (3 to be more exact).
A week ago Ola released re-edition of his latest album "Ola" and apart from original tracks and acoustic version of "Unstoppable" that was released earlier on Ola's single "All Over The World" they included:
1) Very nice acoustic-version of "All Over The World" that was also performed by Ola before and as first acoustic experiment with "Unstoppable" turned to be great the same we can say about new acoustic remake (and lovely again!)
2) Buzz Junkies remix for "All Over The World" - powerful club-track serving great for dancefloor and radio with it's strong beat and not less tasty strings part
3) Brand new track "Princess" - modern track mixing electro-sound and Swedish pop melodics right in that way you could expect from Ola's album.
You can enjoy whole pack right below and remember that soon we're gonna get new video for "All Over The World".