For one week only Pop Panel has sorted out its European visa's & relocated here via Sweden for one special week. Usually, Mike's glorious website PopTrashAddicts is the home for such opinions but as Swedish Season comes to its end an illicit alliance has consequently formed between DontStopthepop & PoptrashAddicts. The premise is easy: 6 bloggers give rank eight songs & the one the highest tally wins. It thus becomes the PoptrashAddict/Dontstopthepop Single of the Week. The panel consists of the same illustrious judges of previous weeks:
D'Luv (US) writer of Chart Rigger
Mike (AUS) writer of PopTrashAddicts
Pablo (Spain) writer of Peibols
Paul (UK) writer of Fizzy Pop
Rob (UK) writer of Don't Stop The Pop
The Prophet (AUS) writer of The Prophet
This week there is a little adaption. Seeing as its Swedish Season, Pop Panel is joined by a celebrity judge! Jonas Hedqvist is not only Swedish himself has had real chart success in a real country (Sweden!). He's also been Mister Gay Sweden and currently working on his debut album. His single Summer High went top ten in Sweden two years ago & he's currently producing a Swedish version of Grease. He's also very much involved within the Swedish music scene which makes him perfect for this edition of pop panel. He brings the glory to the hole....
Emilia De Poret-On Fire (video)
This was originally delayed because of the fires that destroyed huge parts of Australia. Now Emilia finally presents the 3rd single to the world.
Jonas: I am so happy you decided to let a drag-queen join this weeks reviews.
Good for you. And for him/her. How much did she pay to make you include her?
(Well I probably need to shut my big cock-sucking-mouth up... if her hands hit as hard as they are big, I need to beware). The production is beautiful though...2/5
Robpop: I adore Emilia De Poret but this fails to get beyond lukewarm. If this was her 5th single then I'd understand but it isn't. I score it low points not because of the song per se but because it has been promoted to single status over much better material. 2/5
Robbie: Sounds like something I'd expect to hear on "Gossip Girl" during an opening montage. Nothing spectacular. 2/5
Paul: I'm a bit ambivalent about all these songs this week so far, except Agnes aren't I? This doesn't set me "on fire" at all and should have been delayed even longer. 2/5
Pablo: Is this the small small girl in a small small world? Then I don't have too much to say. It's so P1nk's, it stinks. 1/5
Mike: I don’t care if Emilia has a dick, this track is utterly gorgeous. Unlike the rest of the Swedish pop robots, Mr De Poret brings some real heart and attitude to his music. The quirky production showcases Emilia’s gutsy vocals perfectly. 4.5/5
The Prophet: This has me reaching for the Valium and whiskey bottle. 0/5
Ghost vs Sanne-Stop That DJ (myspace)
The team behind Robyn’s first 3 albums decide to go it alone and finally release their first single.
Jonas: Wierd. The voice sounds like Robyn but the production is totally fucked up. Totally love or hate. Like a bad one night stand: TAKE IT AWAY! 1/5
Robpop: I love the heady mixture of Mary J Blige and Robyn circa album no.3. Stop That DJ is a quick-paced deranged pop song that rarely appears on planet pop. It's the most radical of songs this week which is both its strong point and lacuna. 5/5
Robbie: This sucks hard. Can we bring Jade Ewen back from last week? 0/5
Paul: Much better. quite lovely and GhostvsSanne bring something to the table that was missing (for me) with Robyn. I'm not sure what that is, but this is quite more-ish! 4/5
Pablo: Actually it seems Robyn's voice. But it's not. Too much electro-minimal for me.
Mike: Ghost Vs Sanne’s album has grown on me massively over the past couple of months but this is fucking awful. Please don’t judge “Hold This Girl” by this anaemic stinker! 0/5
The Prophet: This is cool, I love the beat and the vocals aren't cheesy or trashy. 4/5
Pauline-Give Me A Call (video)
Pauline is a mixture between Neneh Cherry, Robyn and Amy Winehouse. But more poppy.
Jonas: I feel so sorry for Pauline. She looks good and sounds terrific. But why listen to the copy when you can have the originals?! Boring. 2/5
Robpop: There are better songs on the album. Like Red Carpet. 3/5
Robbie: Oh, Pauline. Your cheap Motown beats are plasticlassy. 3/5
Paul: God, remember how I said the Swedish dance songs were ten a penny? Of course you do! It was less than two minutes ago. Anyway, these Amy Winehouse 60s style songs are even cheaper (just ask Pixie). I love the backing vocals, less enamored with the song as a whole. 2.5/5
Pablo: Oh! Great Song! I love this kind of sound. It's the album I thought Solange'd release instead of that boring thing. 4/5
Mike: Sweden’s answer to Solange Knowles whips up a sunny slice of Motown flavoured retropop. It’s cute, bouncy and very catchy. 3.5/5
The Prophet: Sounds like the D-grade Duffy without the voice or sass. 1/5
Basic Element-Touch You Right Now (Video)
After years of slugging in the dance underground, Basic Element have finally scored the international record deal they’ve been working for years.
Jonas: This weeks big surprise! Really good. They even managed to make his voice sound hot!
Initially this makes me wish I put on bigger undies this morning. But as always - too good to be true - as soon as the rap kicks-in my manhood hides back into its usual safe-place again. 3/5
Robpop: Amazing. Ultimately Touch You Right Now is a bit plastic around the edges but it has major tunage pop-potentiality. 3/5
Robbie: Over-produced synths, cliched lyrics and a '90s sounding Euro-rap? Perfect score! 5/5
Paul: Oh. If I hadn't known I that this was Basic Element, I would have thought this was Star Pilots or someone of their ilk. Good grief. 1.5/5
Pablo: Kinda Alcazarised!! I like it! 3/5
Mike: I’m giving this 5/5 for the simple fact that Peter from the band recently knocked up my favourite Swedish pop diva – the stunningly beautiful and gloriously talented Linda Rosing AKA Bionda! The world demands a duet! 5/5
The Prophet: OMG I can't believe this is actually like a genre of 'music', like people actually create this shit. 0/5
Total: 20.5 Joint 3rd
Gathania-Blame It On You (Video)
Blame It On You was written and produced by the team behind September’s mega global hit ‘Cry For You’.
Jonas: She´s beautiful, she´s gotta really good voice and bla bla bla! But both the song, the production, the styling and the video feel so 2008. Dare I even say 2007. 2/5
Pablo: It's the kind of song I like. For summer, at least. 4/5
Robbie: Sounds like September and feels like perfect summer pop. It makes me feel like driving through the night in June. 3.5/5
Robpop: Oh Gathania you are amazing. For sure there are the "sounds like Velvet/Star Pilots/September" issues which will get in the way of any U.K success. The next few months will be difficult but if she can craft singles that pull her away from that September sound the spotlight is yours. This is a perfectly functionary but the record company will have issues with radio play. 3/5
Paul: It's perfectly pleasant. These type of Swedish dance songs seem to be ten a penny at the moment, and while this doesn't make this any less palatable, it earns a slightly lower mark because of it. Then it gains points for the spaffle worthy dude in a red sweater in the video (so it all balances out). 3/5
Mike: Jonas Von Der Burg is a pop visionary but Gathania isn’t fit to lick September’s stilettos. This is pop music by the numbers at its most boring and contrived. 2/5
The Prophet: All these September/Cascada/Random dance diva songs sound identical to me so I'll give this a 3 because she's cute. 3/5
Total: 20.5 Joint 3rd
Eric Hassle-Hurtful (video)
A tremendous amount of buzz surround the eventual release of Hurtful & Eric’s subsequent album.
Jonas: Like a great one night stand. Makes you wanna keep him on repeat all night long.
I love his voice and his nerdish looks. A great song truly, that definitely will soundtrack my summer! 4/5
Robpop: Strange. This is a big tune but I really can't abide by the stressed American accent on the chorus. Perhaps he was brought up in southern California but something tells me Eric is Swedish through and through. Can't wait for his album. 3/5
Robbie: Kind of subtle at first, but the buildup and the chorus are a killer. 4/5
Paul: What hasn't been said about this already? Great lyricist, made for top 40 production and an impassioned vocal. 4/5
Pablo: Has this guy the legal age to have sex? Apart from the video, the song it's quite right. It might fit at season finale of Grey's Anatomy. I've never seen this show, but it fits for sure. 2/5
Mike: Oh please. The Swedish Gary Go does his best to channel Robbie Williams. And fails. 1/5
The Prophet: He's extremely unpleasant to look at but the song is great, somebody send me the MP3! 4.5/5
Total: 22.5 Joint 2nd
Robyn & Royksopp-The Girl & The Robot (video)
The Swedish pop queen returns to familiar territory with a little help from two Norwegian pop maestro’s.
Robpop: Absolutely amazing. Robyn really works well when her vocals find themselves backed by soothing electronic baselines. A triumph. 5/5
Jonas: I've been makin love with Robyn for such a long time now, but ever since the orgasm ending up with Every Heartbeat we really don´t understand each other anymore. I just wanna turn over on my side of the bed, close my eyes, light my cigarette and then wish that when i open my eyes again she will be gone, gone, gone...2/5
Robbie: Not only does this sound like something from Erasure circa "Chorus," Robyn's starting to really look like Andy Bell, too. That's a good thing. Great video, too. 4/5
Paul: Why oh why don't I get Robyn? I mean she's utterly beloved by bloggers but she leaves me cold. This has done nothing to change my mind. Sorry Robyn lovers! Robots however, certainly are hot in pop this year! 2/5
Pablo: My problem with Robyn is that I don't like her. But not in a musical way. It's her face. I totally love her albums. The old ones (Don't Stop The Music is still one of my favourites!) and new ones. But I stil can't understand her face. This song is totally amazing, the video is tragic. And I totally love the Davide Rossi Re-Interpretation.5/5
Mike: Margaret Berger did it first and considerably better. Robyn’s creative juices have obviously run dry. 0/5
The Prophet: Amazing! I've always like Robyn because she tries to mix R&B/Hip-Hop with her music, and even though this song isn't urban it's still great. 4.5/5
Total: 22.5 Joint 2nd
Agnes-Release Me (video)
The winner of Swedish Pop Idol releases her Swedish hit single in the UK. She's also single of the week.
Jonas: Totally beautiful. Agnes is one of a kind in Sweden. Even though loosing big time in the Swedish selections for the ESC she is by far our most glamorous diva and the song is also good. Makes me wanna throw my clothes of and go dancing naked in the rain with a lot well defined muscle mary´s! Like a walking chick flick! 4/5
Robpop: The UK Itunes chart positions speak for themselves really. When I first heard this track I was stunned by its brilliance. Nearly a year later its receiving a UK pressing & its success is deserved. Unlike so many popstars, Agnes has refused the usual "lets make her sound American" route (see Leona). As such, she transcends...5/5
Robbie: She's got the horseface of Leona Lewis, but thankfully she comes from Sweden, so she does way better music by default. 3.5/5
Paul: It's entirely down to Bob, Postergirl and Aaron Fabtastic that i gave Agnes any time at all! And now she's all top five hit on our asses! This is a great disco influenced number that quite rightly deserved to be massive. 4/5
Pablo: Eeem... I think I'm moving to Sweden (sorry about your Spanish green card, Mike). Really I like this song! Violins in a song is something I totally adore! 4/5
Mike: The song is great but Agnes ruins it by having all the charisma of a used condom that has been thrown into an unflushed toilet after being fished out of Cheryl Cole’s loose arsehole. 0/5
The Prophet: Agnes is totally lame, but I'd probably like this song if Melissa Tkautz or some black diva sung it. 3/5