Here’s the deal: when you’re an artist that becomes famous all over Europe because of winning the Eurovision, it’s really tough. Everyone knows your song from the song contest, but after the first wave of excitement passes, you slowly fade away and become just a place on the list of Eurovision Song Contest’s winners. After two or three years, no one (maybe except your countrymen) really remembers you.
Of course that was a generalization. No doubt Eurovision has brought to light some really famous performers (like ABBA or Celine Dion), but let’s be honest: that was really long ago. Hell, when Dion won the contest I was two months old!
How many winners do you remember from the last 12 years? If you ask me, right now only Lena comes to my mind. Oh, and Lordi, but that’s because I knew them before the Eurovision in 2006. What I’m trying to prove is that Eurovision hasn’t promoted a big and consistent artist for years. All of them just come and go and mostly are famous for this one particular song. I guess Lena was an exception, but that’s because Germans love Eurovision and they really know a lot about good promotion. But right now, even in Poland, I don’t hear her songs on the radio.
This week Loreen released her debut album, Heal. I was quite curious what it brings and I had the chance to listen to it today.
There are 12 songs on the album. All of them are more or less similar in style to Euphoria (2012 Eurovision winning song). When it comes to genre, I think it’s safe to place this music between pop and dance. What’s important for me is that those songs are mostly really strong in lyrics. Of course the writers (and Loreen is among them) didn’t avoid some cliches (um, compare the line “All of my life, where have you been?” from See You Again to Rihanna’s “Where have you been”), but all in all it’s not that bad. And also it has to be mentioned that the songs were composed between 2010 and 2012.
Some songs are very energetic (my personal best My Heart is Refusing Me, also: Breaking Robot, See You Again and of course Euphoria), but the majority has this magnetic, hypnotizing quality mixed with “distant” electronic sounds and Loreen’s longing vocals. I would say the whole album is rather interesting. In general it’s not dance and it’s not pop. While listening to it I’m constantly picturing myself standing in the middle of nowhere, it’s cold and dark, but there’s a voice that brings lightness and warmth. It’s a very remote voice, but it’s there and it gives me hope.
In my opinion Heal is a satisfying debut for an artist like Loreen. I’ve seen some interviews with her and she seems like a very humble, almost shy person, but a persistent one with strong personality. I think it shows in her music, in the lyrics and generally the whole package. I can agree though, that in the long run listening to Heal can be a little tiring, so I would suggest not putting it on repeat ;].
I’m curious where will Loreen go from that. Will she fade away just like the rest of the ESC winners? I hope not, because she’s just the rind kind of alternative and the world needs more of that, really.
Released: 22 October 2012
1. In My Head