Velvet has somewhat always had to play second fiddle to September. They both share the weird change of names rather than simply going with their far more suitable birthname – in this case Velvet’s “at home with the mum” name is Jenny. This is Velvet’s second album and this time she’s upstaged the wonderful September. In short, The Queen is turbo pop at its finest. It refuses to relent its disco onslaught....
The Queen: The title track and the song that should have worked for Velvet at this year’s Melodifestivalen. Not only did Velvet look amazing, the song was spot on but the performance itself managed to bring Samuel Beckett references to the camp-as-tits contest. The song is a declaration much like Your Disco Needs You by Kylie Minogue. Bonnier/Amigo got it so right with this song. I’d be taking someone over to court over the fate of this track. It deserved a lot better than it did. What were the Swedish population thinking? I am sure its European release will show that it would have been a perfect song to send to Moscow. 10/10
Chemistry: Velvet declares “Don't need psychology/With this biology” but this rather big dance song will get ones cortex wanting to shimmy to the nearest flight to Ibiza. This song screams summer hit single. The Phil Hammond remix is also quite amazing. 10/10
Take My Body Close: This is from the Pitchline boys Mattias and Andreas. This involves a great number of 80’s guitar rifts merged into dance baselines. By track three, you get a real sense of Velvets sound. She’s dropped the dodgy rnb sounds that littered the last album and gone straight for that Eric Prydz Call On Me sound that worked so well for him. Incredibly catchy. 9/10
Sound Of Music: This is by the same people behind MissMatch (who are planning their comeback!). Sound of Music is a sweet Kylie-esq track that would sit fit so well next to her demo Feels So Good and dancier moments from X. Yes, Sound of Music is one of the more subtle tracks on the album but its perhaps “less-Swedish” of the bunch if that means any sense. Kylie fans will love this song. Its Love At First Sight, Dancefloor, Wow and In My Arms all wrapped into one great pop song. 12/10
Radio Star: Written by the same guy behind The Queen. Radio Star suffers from very weak verses that make the song too neutral. This could have been sung by absolutely anyone. Velvet does power pop not songs that could easily be shelved from Atomic Kitten’s 2000 recording sessions. The chorus is pretty good. But, compared to The Queen Radio Star suffers big time. I pretty much aware that I am alone in this opinion though as those Velvet lovers on the Popjustice forums love Radio Star. 5/10
My Rhythm: Velvet steps towards the Daft Punk realm. Does it work? Oh yes indeed. This is a brilliant dance song that could send Velvet right in the mainstream. Radio 1 could easily A-list this record. Don’t hold that fact against it though. My Rhythm is a nice hybrid of Therese’s Put Em High and Daft Punks Music Sounds Better With You. 11/10
Play: The first of two ballads on The Queen. Play, another Petterson/Albertsson production is a sweet electronic love song of the type we last heard from Kylie in the form of Cosmic/No More Rain. Brilliant use of strings. 5/10
Come into the Night: And here is Velvet’s global number one if its picked to be a single. This has all the charisma of gloriously 1980 monster songs both called Jump (by the Pointer Sisters and Van Halen. The Pitchline boys could have a massive hit on their hands with this rather big song from Velvet. This is the disco song that doesn’t need a mix to improve it. This is the song that could light up a thousand nights. 11/10
Deja Vu: Play this to anyone with no knowledge of Velvet & they’d immediately guess correctly its nation of origin. Deju Vu is gloriously camp, swings with strings and involves a number of key piano rifts that brings Velvet ever so close to paying tribute to ABBA as possible. 9/10
Dancing With Tears In My Eyes: This track stands out purely because it uses the word “wireless”. Can you think of any modern songs that refer to the wireless? I love it. Bless those Ultravox boys. The message of the song is about regrets, memory and incredibly reminiscent. I love the line “we drink-to forget the coming storm”. Its perhaps the most emotional tracks on The Queen. By the end of the song this song edges towards Cascada territory which isn’t a bad thing but it illustrates that Velvet doesn’t stick to one particular sound. She is clearly exploring the different genres of dance. 8/10
Fix Me: I must confess something here; I love Fix Me. It has one of the finest catchiest overall baselines ever to grace pop since Kylie’s amazing Can’t Get You Out Of My Head. Fix Me can very easily played at Magaluf this summer but its middle eight ensures its brilliance as a very strong pop song indeed. I think the winning appeal of Fix Me is its bombastic melody. 11/10
My Destiny: A nice track to end with but something doesn’t quite add-up with My Destiny. She tries to emerge as some kind of power-ballad Agnes Carlsson (ala first album) warbler and it doesn’t seem to connect. The first ballad was fine but My Destiny needs a big beat over it. 5/10
Overall: The Queen is a great release. Please buy it here. That’s just the Swedish one. I am sure the British one will come with the rather wonderful retro remix of Chemistry by Mr.Hammond. The highlight has to be Sound of Music. So it might not be as dancetastic as the other songs on the album but, it has a certain level of pop charm in its elegance which completely appeals to me. The Queen is a key pop release from Sweden this year.
Posted by Robpop at Saturday, April 04, 2009