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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Track-by-Track: Eric Saade - Masquerade

Welcome back, teen pop of the late 90's/early 00's. If you're missing a little Bye Bye Bye in your life, seek this album out right away. It won't appeal to everyone, and certainly carries a little more than its fair share of cheese, but as far as dance pop records go, this is well-worth checking out.

1. Masquerade - Kicking off with hard video-game style beats, this is a fantastic opening to the overall in-your-face pop sound of the album. The persistent strings, especially, add the drama that ups this from an average pop song to something more special. 10/10

2. Upgrade - More strings open this upbeat, aggressive dance track. This is so 'Nsync circa 1999 that it borders on being a tribute. The thing is, enough time's passed that this feels really fresh. And Saade pulls it off. 9/10

3. Break Of Dawn - The album's first ballad, and my favorite slowie, which is fortunate because it's the next single. That being said, it's nothing overwhelmingly special, and definitely caves to the current Tedder-style ballad trends. 8/10

4. It's Gonna Rain - The album's most accomplished track. It's a huge, disco-fied club track that takes Saade out of the teen-pop arena and into the realm of more mature, pulsing electro. 10/10

5. Manboy - When I first heard this song I couldn't believe that anything that was so strange and campy could ever be a hit. I guess the chorus is just too catchy to ignore. Even I've succumbed to its charms. 10/10

6. Say It - Here, Saade slides into the weaker portion of male teen pop music. It's a pleasant, midtempo song with acoustic leanings. It comes and goes, offering little to remember it by. 6/10

7. Sleepless - His first single, and one of his best. The chorus is so incredibly massive. I can't see anybody resisting it. Best of all, it fits perfectly with the rest of the album. No fluke, here. 10/10

8. I'll Be Alright - Another acoustic-sounding track, slightly more uptempo than Say It. And, slightly better. It's still not a highlight, but I like the strings in the chorus. 7/10

9. Radioactive - Back to the harder-edged dance music. There are things I love about this song (Saade's vocals in the choruses), but the song overall falls just short of a perfect score. Really, I think it just suffers from comparisons to some of the album's stronger tracks in the same genre. 8/10

10. Why Do We Need Fashion? - The late-album highlight. This aggressive dance track plays around with song structure and tempo, with winning results. It's also criminally catchy. One listen and you'll be singing along. 10/10

11. It's Like That With You - The obligatory, cheesy piano ballad. It does very little for me, though these songs rarely do. I suppose it's nice enough, but it could certainly use a stronger melodic hook (especially in the verses). 6/10

Album Grade: 8.5/10

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Blogger Myfizzypop said...

oh i love It's Like That With You! Otherwise i'm in full agreement. Love the middle 8 cheese of it'll be alright where he grabs the tambourine and commences, uh, banging! Sleepless is excellent, one i've gone back too, despite the dodgy video (the dancing is alright - however, he's grinding in a slightly rapey way against a girl who clearly isn't interested!!). And yes to It's Gonna Rain. Popjustice song of the day for sure?!

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Brad said...

I like that song you posted, but I can't seem to find the album anywhere. I don't have itunes, so is there anywhere else this album is available?!

I need more cheese in my life d:

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

uhh that was a great album i still listen to 'Masqurade', 'Its Gonna Rain' & 'Sleepless' one of the best album n may!!

8:31 PM  

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