Track-by-Track: Salem Al Fakir - Ignore This
1. The Song I Never Wrote - A short, atmospheric instrumental introduction that sets up the synth elements of the album. Nothing spectacular, and it's an instrumental so I'm not grading.
2. 4 O'Clock - Kicks off with a catchy marimba-sounding synth beat with hand claps. It's a midtempo, but the gorgeous layered vocals and bright instrumentation will have you dancing. 10/10
3. Virgin Mary - The album's most instant, and best, track. The frenetic synth hook reminds me of Prince in his 80's heyday and the chorus is inescapable. I'd go so far as saying it's his best song yet. 10/10
4. Red Rock - The first of several tracks that rely on the vocoder, this doesn't even sound like Salem. It's a mostly instrumental piece that builds up into some dramatic orchestral flourishes. It's fascinating, if not instantly catchy. 9/10
5. Keep On Walking - This is his Melodifestivalen entry, and already a hit single. The synths are a bit more subdued here, but the melody is anything but. The chorus is almost transcendent. 10/10
6. This Is For - An aggressive electro song that reminds me of Robyn quite a bit. He kind of raps the verses, and the chorus uses the vocoder prominently again. 8/10
7. Part Of It - A very atmospheric synth ballad with a subtle melody that creeps up on you. Drags the energy down a bit, but it's beautiful. 8/10
8. Brooklyn Sun - This is much more like his older stuff. It's very pretty, but feels out of place on the album. It's a much more organic sounding ballad. 7/10
9. Don't Wanna Talk About It - Another squiggly synth interlude. Instrumental. Doesn't add much.
10. Bloody Breakfast - Sort of a companion to This Is For. The lyrics are pretty dark and so is the sound. The electro elements are back again, but muted. It feels more like an experiment than a pop song, but it's succeeds in being interesting. 7/10
11. Split My Personality - Another atmospheric downtempo. I can take it or leave it. It sounds a lot more like his older stuff. The melody's not particularly engaging, though. 6/10
12. Cowboys & Dinosaurs - The other song that I can take or leave. It's pretty (and pretty short), but totally brings down the energy. It's got much more of an acoustic sound to it. 5/10
13. I'm So Happy - And we're back! This is a funky close to the album that features an old school boogie/disco beat and some ridiculously happy chimes (even though the lyrics are less than positive). It's one of his best melodies on the album. 9/10
Album Grade: 8.1/10
(Hint: Bring the score up a full point by tacking on older songs Backseat and Roxy, which fit the sound of the album's best tracks perfectly.)