As a general rule Swedish pop music tends to be amazing. It just seems to know what it is and what it wants to be. It’s not always cool, but it doesn’t really care. And that MAKES it cool…at least that’s what its mum says.
If there’s one area where Swedish pop knows how to go all balls out, it’s the chorus. Roxette are masters at it, and even called their first Greatest Hits album ‘Don’t Bore Us…Get To The Chorus!’ (Amazing title. IMPORTANT MESSAGE.) They knew that verses are important- they’re the essential bread in a musical sandwich. Without the bread you’re just holding lumps of tuna mayonnaise in your hands. But they also knew that the filling was really where it was at. Catchy, melodic and proudly lacking any kind of subtlety- these are the hallmarks of a brilliant Swedish pop chorus.
Which brings us to The Sounds, who themselves are known for cracking out an amazing chorus or two. Songs like ’24 Hours’ (in fact most songs from ‘Dying To Say This To You) or ‘No One Sleeps When I’m Awake‘, suggest that they’ve been weaned from the same catchy chorus teat as Roxette/Abba/Ace of Base etc etc etc. Their latest album ‘Something To Die For’ has had mixed reviews- some say it sounds confused and lacks direction, others (ridiculously) say it ‘sounds too mainstream’. But it still manages to demonstrate some classic Sounds moments.
The Best of Me is one such track- it starts out as a jittery, piano led lament and transforms during the chorus into a big, feelgood, chanty gem of a song. As usual Maja Ivarsson’s distinctive vocals guide the emotion- confident and defiant with just a hint of vulnerability ever present under the surface. It’s The Sounds at their chorus driven, Swedish best.