The Daily Roxette has a habit of reviewing albums round table-style, so let's get to it! Colin was supposed to be in on it, but is busy with his newborn daughter Fenja, so he's excused.
Thomas: Marie Fredriksson is back. Nu! is her first solo album in Swedish with newly written material in 17 years. She has written one track on the album, “Sista sommarens vals” (“Last Summer’s Waltz”) and she has gotten a track from Per (Gessle) - “Känn dig som hemma” (“Make Yourself at Home”.) The rest of the album has been written by husband Micke Bolyos and text writers for hire. Nu! is produced by Micke together with Christoffer Lundquist.
So how is it? Marie’s voice is great, better than ever in fact. However I feel the songs are so-so and there’s no discernible red line. I would best describe this as the follow-up to 1987’s ...efter stormen, but without Marie’s lyrics or the nice Lindbom/Fredriksson melodies. What do you say guys?
Paul: The fans have waited all these years for an album from Marie with brand new Swedish material. Will they be disappointed with Nu!? Let’s find out…
Thomas: I think Marie’s fans will love this.
Kai: I have to admit that I could not really deal with her two most recent albums (Min bäste vän and The Change), so for me Marie’s latest album I can refer to is I en tid som vår. I liked its vibe and the fact that it was different from what she’s doing with Roxette. Den ständiga resan was actually her first solo album I that I bought and made me dig deeper into her solo efforts. From what I have heard of Nu!, Marie went back to her old style. Which is good.
1 - Kom vila hos mig (Come Rest With Me)
Paul: So, the first single. This doesn’t really set the tone for the whole album. An uptempo lead single from a ballad-heavy album. The song itself is pleasing enough, but the production sounds a bit flat to me. I agree with Thomas though, Marie does sound fantastic on this song, and the album as a whole.
Thomas: I think this is a decent pop-rock track but with a verse and a chorus that don’t go together as well as they should. Early '90s production.
Kai: Listening to the song for the first time, long before I got this album in my hands, I feared that Nu! was going in the wrong direction again. Strong start but a weak chorus. But it does make sense to me in relation with the whole album. You need to take the actual listening easy, then this songs opens the door to the unique universe of this album.
2 - Det bästa som nånsin kan hända (The Best Thing That Ever Could Have Happened)
Thomas: Lyrics written by Uno Svenningsson from pop group Freda. A country influenced ditty with a pedal steel all over it.
Paul: I knew there was a certain vibe to it, but couldn’t put my finger on it - country! Is that a first for Marie?
Thomas: I can’t recall ever hearing Marie doing country.
Kai: Boys, this is not staged: My cat has for the first time in her life claimed my headphones and wants to listen to this song. Did the check with a GT song, that killed her interest. Well, now that I have the headphones all for myself again, I think there is a certain trace of SOAP in it. Was it Christoffer? Who knows. Worth going and finding it out.
Thomas: Call Chris now!
3 - Det är nu! (It Is Now!)
Paul: The chorus sounds like a song that could’ve been on The Change, whilst the verse sounds like a Roxette B-side to me. Although, I can’t think of the last Gessle song that had a big key change like this one has! I think this may be a single at some point.
Thomas: I imagine this is what Per would describe as “...not Roxette enough.” Judging from the comments online this is however a really big song among Marie’s fans.
Kai: Hmmm, yes. The production is close to Roxette’s. Apart from this, “Det är nu!” could as well have been written for ...efter stormen or Den ständiga resan. As I said, I prefer her older albums over the more recent ones, thus I tend to like it. Oh yes, it’s radio friendly, the strongest one so far. Catchy, positive, energetic.
Thomas: I too prefer her older albums.