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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Track-by-Track: Ola Svensson - Ola

In the world of Swedish pop, Ola's third album is about as long-anticipated as they come. It's been years (and several excellent singles) since his last release, and the general consensus seemed to be that he'd come back with a sound that far eclipsed his post-Idol albums of the past. Did he deliver?

1. All Over The World - A bombastic, string-laden entry to the album and one of the highest points. This is a worldwide smash waiting to happen, and a nice blend of Ola's old Bassflow sound and his new, slightly urban identity. What a chorus. 10/10

2. Unstoppable (The Return Of Natalie) -After all the dust has settled, this remains one of the strongest songs out of this year's Melodifestivalen. The paino riff, the bombast (I can't overuse that word in this context)... it's all perfection. This is the kind of music Ola should be making. 10/10

3. Y.T.G. (You're That Girl) - A lightweight, summery pop song with an emphasis on melody. It's cheesy in all the right ways, and ridiculously catchy. Not up to par with the prior tracks, but it grows on you. 8/10

4. Riot - The most aggressive dance track on the album (and in his career, I'd say), this benefits from all of the current computer/vocoder tricks. It's not particularly original, but benefits from a pure blast of energy. 9/10

5. Overdrive - I wasn't a fan of this single initially. It just doesn't suit Ola as well as those big pop songs do. But, as far as acoustic, strummy radio tracks go, this is pretty nice. It works well in the context of the album, though it's still not one of my favorites. 7/10

6. Beautiful Rain - A big, dramatic ballad. I like this a lot more than I would have expected to. The melody and vocals on the verses are particularly striking. Plus, the way that chorus builds? Very nice. 8/10

7. Busy Doing Nothing - An odd, electro track with vocals that sound more than a little slurry/drunk. The overall sound is far more interesting than it has to be, which is always a plus. It's cool to hear a different layer to Ola's vocals. 9/10

8. Still Remember - Another track I didn't like when it appeared a few months ago on the EP, but like Overdrive it's grown on me. There's a strong r&b influence here, and the sound reminds me of music that was popular about seven years ago (especially with that then-ubiquitous chipmunk voice). This, and the aggression of the chorus, makes the track a late album highlight. 9/10

9. Let It Hit You - This, on the other hand, is too forgettable and boring to make much of an impression. It could've been performed by anyone in this genre and sounded exactly the same. 6/10

10. Twisted Memories - A big ballad to end the album. It's not as good as Beautiful Rain, for sure. In fact, these last couple of tracks just seem tacked on. I would've much preferred he just add previous singles Love In Stereo and Sky's The Limit. 6/10

Album Grade: 8.2/10

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Blogger Myfizzypop said...

Overdrive and Still Remember have definitely grown on me a lot. I do love Riot though, it's like Ke$ha with Kla$$! Beautiful Rain is definitely a great electro ballad though and overall it's a fine album indeedy.

1:11 AM  
Anonymous alex said...

I play "All Over The World" non-stop these days! The chorus surely reminds me very much of something else, but I can't really put my finger on what it is. *Annyoing*

4:48 AM  

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