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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Track-by-Track: Elin Lanto - Love Made Me Do It

There's a habit of Swedish pop artists releasing a million singles before finally collecting them all in an album. Fellow dance-diva Velvet is a prime example. Elin Lanto follows suit, releasing her new album on the heel of six (!) singles (two of which aren't included here, but should be). Does the rest of the album live up to what we've already heard?

1. Hater - What is it with these Swedish pop divas putting the wrong song as their album's opening track? First Linda Sundblad, now Elin Lanto. Positioned somewhere else in the album, this would be a fine midtempo rocky track. Placed here, the album implodes before it really starts. 7/10

2. Funeral - And now we're talking. Even with its dark, spiteful lyrics, the buoyancy of the melody makes this one of the most addictive tracks on the album. The chorus is transcendent. Would've made a great opener. 10/10

3. Tickles - The second perfect pop song on the album, and a polar opposite in tone from the last one. Wisely chosen as a single, it's the kind of thing that Elin does best. Fun, memorable pop music. 10/10

4. Doctor Doctor - Her 2010 Melodifestivalen entry, and a rockier style for her. It seems somewhat unpopular among fans (and the voting public in Sweden!), but I think it's fantastic. It's certainly got one of the better choruses on the album, and attitude to spare. 9/10

5. Alien - The first real ballad, this is a dramatic track about not fitting in. It's got some stately production and Lanto's vocals really soar, but something about it doesn't really hit me like it should. 8/10

6. Love Made Me Stupid - A previous single, and probably my least favorite of her newer single releases. That being said, she's had a seriously great track record and this is still highly above average. It's just a tad repetitive. That's all. 8/10

7. Toy Boy - A massive dance track, this would have probably been a better selection for Melodifestivalen this year. It's got that huge, campy schlager feeling to it. Still, it's not as edgy or melodic as her best stuff. 8/10

8. Give It All Up - A mid-tempo pop track with a nice melody. I'd certainly rate it higher than the album opener, and probably just a notch above Alien as well. Sure, it doesn't call as much attention to itself, but the chorus is better, if a little sappy. 8/10

9. Good Stuff - A fun, inconsequential dance track. And in that, it really triumphs. There's some interesting sounds going on here and Elin's voice sounds amazing. Unfortunately, the melody falls a little short, making it another 8/10

10. My Favorite Pair Of Jeans - Another old single, this one sounds a bit out of place since it's basically straight-up electro-pop. Both Discotheque and Speak n' Spell (not included on the album) are miles better than this, but it holds its own with a hypnotic, Kylie-esque melody. 8/10

11. Singing Goodbye - A cheesy, 80's sounding ballad. It's not the type of stuff Elin's all that convincing at, and it's not a particularly satisfying ending to the album. All in all, it joins Hater as the most underwhelming tracks, though I'll admit she sounds great on it (as usual). And I do like that over-the-top guitar. 7/10

Album Grade: 8.3/10

Alienhits "best possible" version: 1. Tickles 2. Funeral 3. Discotheque 4. Doctor Doctor 5. Love Made Me Stupid 6. Give It All Up 7. Speak n' Spell 8. Toy Boy 9. Good Stuff 10. My Favorite Pair Of Jeans 11. Alien

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