Sunday, September 25, 2011

Swedish Charts Update

It's been a while since the last one so what's been happening in the Sverige Topplistan charts?

In the album chart, Melissa Horn is at no.1 with her latest album "Innan Jag Kände Dig". Her style of intense acoustic/folk music doesn't really appeal to me, but she is very popular so it's no surprise that her album has outsold all others in its first week of release.

Then there is the ubiquitous Adele at no.2 with "21". Is there now anyone in the world (apart from me and faithful travelling companion) who does not own a copy of this album??? Swedish acts still have a healthy presence in the album charts though - Eric Saade, Benny Anderssons Orkester, Veronica Maggio, Ulrik Munther, September, Takida and The Ark, who played their final gig earlier this month at Gröna Lund in Stockholm.

What I love about European countries is that they have a much broader musical taste and sometimes very surprising names will crop up in the album charts. I was very surprised to see Nick Lowe entering at no. 9 with "The Old Magic" which I checked out some snippets of on iTunes. It's a collection of almost country-flavoured ballads which might appeal to a certain section of the record buying market I guess. Intelligent singer-songwriter fare by a man who is growing old very gracefully indeed.

Nils Landgren meanwhile is a jazz singer and trombonist whose latest album "The Moon, The Stars and You" is dedicated to the late great Esbjorn Svensson. Nils has been around for years but I hadn't heard of him till now. He is not just a talented trombonist but he also has a very lovely singing voice. The album includes some interesting covers of "Moonshadow", "Moon River" and "Till There Was You", and if you need some laid-back jazzy mood music then this could be the perfect album for you.

Just as I never really understood the success of "Om Sanningen Ska Fram" then in a similar vein “Vart Jag Mig I Världen Vänder" by Den Svenska Björnstammen also made it to no.1 in the Sverige Topplistan singles list. I prefer their next dancey anthem "Allting Kommer Bli Bra" - check it out at Their no.1 song was deposed by "Moves Like Jagger", but Oleg is not too far behind with "Elektropop" which sounds like a Melodifestivalen entry! One other notable Swedish act in the top 10 is Avicii with his original version of the song "Fade Into Darkness" which was of course sampled by Leona Lewis on her current hit "Collide". I have to say I prefer Avicii's song to Leona's, but they both share a good backing track :)

I've been out of the loop of Swedish music for most of the summer so am just catching up with some of it now. Kapten Röd is a new name to me, who has brought some welcome reggae sounds into the chart.

One song which has probably been around for ever is "Fest Hos Mange" by Mange Makers, which I still have a completely unhealthy obsession with. The off-key singing and the "Mange kom igen nu!" may probably be too much for some people, but I am not ashamed to say I still love it. Mange mange!

Newkid is another new name to me. He is a new entry further down the chart with "Jag Gråter Bara i Regnet" which reminded me a little of Daniel Adams-Ray/Oskar Linnros so if you're a fan of their recent stuff you might like this as well, even if it's a bit too much autotuned for my liking.

Over the past year or so there has been a welcome increase in Swedish-language pop/rock/rap/dance music. Long may it continue!

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