Tag Archives: Euro-pop

Alphabeat

I was sitting here looking for some music to listen to while I work, and I saw Alphabeat in my music folder. Completely forgot what they sounded like, and I’ve rediscovered some wonderful Europop! Alphabeat is a Danish pop band from Silkeborg. The band has 5 members, fronted by lead vocalists Stine Bramsen and Anders SG. The bands self-titled debut album, Alphabeat, was released in Denmark in March 2007, peaking at number two on the Danish Albums Chart and reaching platinum status in five months of release. The band’s success in their domestic market attracted the attention of several major labels from larger markets abroad and Alphabeat was eventually signed to EMI’s Charisma Records label in the United Kingdom. Their debut UK single, “Fantastic 6”, was released in November 2007, followed by the international release of Alphabeat, retitled This Is Alphabeat, the following year. It peaked at number ten on the UK Albums Chart and was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry. In 2009 Alphabeat won an EBBA Award. (Every year the European Border Breakers Awards (EBBA) recognize the success of ten emerging artists or groups who reached audiences outside their own countries with their first internationally released album in the past year.)

The group’s second album, The Beat, (retitled The Beat Is… for international release) was released in Denmark in 2009. The band said they wanted to get away from the pop sound of their first album and move towards a sound more like popular 90s dance groups like Snap! (and how I looooove 90s dance!!!) While the album was certified platinum and peaked #5 on the Danish charts, its reviews were mixed elsewhere, some saying the loss of the bubblegum euro-pop sound that made them so popular in the first place was replaced by a sound too inconsistent and shallow, although many say the album was better than could be expected from this departure. I’m not intimately enough acquainted with both albums to say, but I enjoy it. The title track “The Spell” is definitely awesome. The rest has some great euro-dance sounds and I think they synth and vocal styles are a great example of shameless euro-dance. What more could I ask for?

Check out their website: Alphabeat


Eric Saade

Eric Saade is a Swedish artist who I first saw last year when he was representing Sweden in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest. His entry, “Popular”, was one of my favourite entries. I thought for sure he was going to win, and after half of the countries had awarded their points, Saade was at the top. But finally he ended the competition in 3rd place. But after this year’s Eurovision I decided to find some music from recent contestants I’d enjoyed and I was stumbled upon some Eric Saade magic!

Saade started off in 2007 in Swedish boyband What’s Up! (who I must soon look into to fuel my guilty pleasure of boy band pop!) He left the group in 2009 to pursue his solo career. That summer, Saade hosted the Swedish music competition My Camp Rock, a camp inspirated by the Disney Channel movie Camp Rock. He also hosted the nationwide contest Julia’s Shooting Stars. In January 2010, Saade won one Scandipop Award in the category Brightest New Hope for 2010, marking his breakthrough in the Swedish pop world.

In March 2010, Saade was nominated for one Marcel Bezençon Award (Melodifestivalen) in the category Press Award for “Manboy”. He also won one in the category Artistic Award for the same song. Saade released his first solo album Masquerade on May 19th, 2011, which reached #2 in Sweden and reached Gold status there. After the album’s release, Saade went on his first tour called Masquerade Tour the summer of 2010 with 24 concerts in Sweden. In January 2011, Saade was nominated for six Scandipop Awards in the categories Best Single from a New Artist for “It’s Gonna Rain” and “Manboy”, Best Male Single for the same songs, Best Male Album for Masquerade and Best New Artist. He also won two awards in the categories Best Album from a New Artist for Masquerade and Best Male!

In May 2011, Saade was nominated for two Marcel Bezençon Awards in the categories Artistic Award and Press Award for “Popular”. Also in May 2011, it was announced that Saade would release two albums in 2011 called Saade Vol. 1 and Saade Vol. 2 in Sweden. The first one was released on June 29th, 2011 in Sweden and Norway. The album reached #1 in Sweden, sold over 50.000 copies and reached Platinum status in July 2011 there. It also reached #16 in Finland. This year Saade is nominated for six Scandipop Awards in the categories Best Male, Readers Favourite of 2011, Best Male Album for Saade Vol. 1 and Saade Vol. 2, Best Male Single for “Popular” and Best Remix for “Popular (SoundFactory Remix)”. Saade is also nominated for one Grammi in the category Best Song for “Popular”. From March-April 2012, Saade was on his third Swedish tour, called Pop Explosion Concert 2012 with 15 concerts.

I find Saade’s music absolutely fun Europop! A lot of Youtube videos have comments comparing his to Justin Bieber, and though I’m a Be-lieber myself, I hate the comparison, and I think Eric Saade is much better. You can see his influence from 90s boybands and especially Michael Jackson in his videos, particularly his dancing. His videos are definitely fun to watch. I haven’t listened to his three albums in their entirety but from what I’ve seen and watched I know Eric Saade is magic. “Popular” is definitely one of the best!

Check out his site: Eric Saade

 

 


Roman Lob

Roman Lob is a German singer/songwriter from Düsseldorf. I first saw him in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, where he represented Germany, and I knew I had to find his album. Apart from this solo career, Lob is the lead singer of the band Rooftop Kingdom, an alternative-rock band from Neuwied (which I haven’t found any info on yet!), and also a founding member of the metal-core band Days of Despite. In 2006, Lob had competed in German casting show Deutschland sucht den Superstar but had to quit due to a vocal cord infection. In 2008, he took part in the competition to represent Germany at the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 in Belgrade, as a part of the boy band G12P – Germany 12 Points, but their song “When The Boys Come” was not chosen to compete in the national final. But this year Lob represented Germany solo, and achieved 8th place in the finals with 110 points.

Changesis Lob’s debut album, released in April this year, after being selected to represent Germany for this year’s Eurovision in Baku, Azerbaijan. It peaked at number 9 in Germany, and as far as I know has only been released in German-speaking Germany, which is just a shame. I absolutely love the album myself. The lead single, “Standing Still”, from this year’s Eurovision is wonderful. As soon as I saw his performance I began a frantic search for his album! I love his voice, it’s just so mellow and beautiful. The album is a light sort of pop/rock and is really just a great listen. It has a vibe that I haven’t heard in a while. I foresee this album being played over and over in my car. I have to say that Germany has given me some great artists including Roman Lob and Lena recently, particularly from Eurovision. Good job Germany!

Check out his website: Roman Lob and more unplugged action:

 

 


Jenny Berggren

Remember Ace of Base? If you grew up in the 90s you do. “Beautiful Life”, “Cruel Summer”, “Don’t Turn Around”? These songs are amazing. Ace of Base must have been one of Sweden’s biggest exports of the decade. While looking for new Danish music, I happened upon Jenny Berggren’s – of Ace of Base fame – solo career. I haven’t actually heard her album yet, but I stumbled across this single: “Let Your Heart Be Mine” which was almost Denmark’s entry to this year’s Eurovision! Now the song is great by itself, but I found a video of the Calboy Club Remix, and… just wow! I hunted the Internet for almost an hour trying to find this song, and success! So check it out!

Check out the Ultimate Ace of Base site –  you can download many Calboy remixes of great Ace of Base tracks! Who could ask for more?!


Eurovision Finale!

Well Eurovision is over and it was super fabulous! This was the first year I got to watch it and it was incredibly exciting! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time their were divvying out the points! The surprise winner this year was Azerbaijan: Ell and Nikki with their hit, Running Scared. When I heard this song for the first time in the semi-finals I had to admit that it was super catchy, but I didn’t think that it would win.

Sweden was robbed! While watching the finals, I put two countries on my list for the victory: Sweden and Hungary. Hungary did – to my surprise – incredibly poor, with only 53 points, and it looked like Sweden was going to take the victory but ended up in 3rd with 185.

Georgia was another country I really enjoyed. Eldrine’s One More Day was pretty badass and she did surprisingly well, coming in with 110 points.

I know that many of these songs are going to be popular in my house this summer. Sweden and Eric Saade’s Popular as well as Hungary’s Katie Wolf and What About My Dreams are definitely going to be summer dance hits. And I know Lithuania with Evelina Sašenko’s C’est Ma Vie is going to be my Eurovision ballade. It was a magnificent show and I can’t wait for 2012 in Azerbaijan!


Eurovision 2011

Speaking of Eurovision, if you don’t know this week has been the 2011 Eurovision song contest in Düsseldorf! You may remember my earlier post about Lena, the 2010 winner with her amazing hit Satellite. The first round of semi-finals aired Tuesday (19 countries, including Poland!), and the 2nd round of semi-finals aired Thursday. So far I have some favourites Georgia, Hungary, Sweden, and Slovenia. I can’t wait to see the “Big 5” (France, Germany, UK, Spain, and Italy) in the finals, which is  this Saturday. I think Lena is representing Germany again. You can catch all the earlier semi-finals and the the final on the official Eurovision Website.


Ані Лорак

Ani Lorak is a pop singer from Ukraine. She is another Eurovision contender, competing for Ukraine twice: in 2005 and 2008. In 2008 her song “Shady Lady” won her second place (1st was Dima Bilan from Russia).

Lorak has had 12 albums I believe to date, but the only one I have been able to get my hands on is her 2009 Солнце (Sun). From what I have read this album took more of a departure from earlier albums, having a more European sound, and though I have no knowledge of her earlier work this album is unabashedly Euro-pop (which of course I adore!). The album had 2 singles which both went #1 in Ukraine and Russia: “Солнце“and A дальше” The title track also won “Best Song of the Year” in 2009 at the Золотой граммофон awards in Moscow.

The album is full of great Euro-dance beats. Many of the tracks are great to just dance to like the first track Птица! Many other tracks are more down tempo ballades but they are still beautiful and fun!

And as always, check out her wibesite:  Ані Лорак


Antti Tuisku

Antti Tuisku is a Finnish pop star, whose rise to fame came from his competing in the Finnish version of Pop Idol in 2003. Tuisku placed third, but has become by far the most popular artist. He has released seven albums to date, but I have only been able to get my hands on his 6th – Hengitän – released in 2009 and placing #3 on the Finnish charts. Tuisku was also the first Finnish artist to release two albums on the same date with his New York  and Rovaniemi both in 2006 and placing #1 and #2 on the charts respectively. I have read that New York is a dance album while Rovaniemi a more traditional pop album. I can’t wait until I can get my hands on them! I can’t speak for his musical overall, but based on Hengitän I can say its very Euro-pop and it’s fabulous! Fun beats and catchy melodies! Many of the tracks are very electronic/dance. Good stuff.

 

You can try his website too: Antti Tuisku (helps if you know Finnish!)


Alizée

Alizée is a great pop singer from France. She was discovered in 1999 and produced by fellow French pop-star Mylène Farmer, who has since controlled Alizée’s image and sound. Alizée’s first album, Gourmandises, went platinum within 3 months of its release in 2000, was number 1 on the French charts and spawned the hit single Moi…Lolita. In 2003 Alizée released her second album, Mes Courants Électriques, which did not share the same success as the first, but was praised nonetheless and contains my favourite Alizée song: J’en ai marre!. It still peaked number 2 on the French album charts. Another of my favourites from the album is Hey Amigo!Both albums are unabashedly Euro-dance-pop and are wonderful! I have heard many of the songs in the most random places, so would not be surprised if people recognized them too!

Alizée has since released 2 more albums, in 2007 and 2010, and while I have just gotten both of them, I am not familiar enough to talk about them (but am sure to in the future!). Interesting fact: a live performance of J’en ai marre! on the French 2 TV show “Top of the Pops” was the source of the Dark Elf’s dance in the MMORPG World of Warcraft which I think is hilarious! If you’re a nerd like me this only enhances the love for Alizée! Check out the video – which I’m sure also has links to the Night Elf dance and her website: Alizée