TDR reviews “Party Crasher”
Visa: Here we are again, reviewing a new album together. This time, joining in are Thomas, Judith, Colin and I. We'll go through Per Gessle's new album "Party Crasher" song-by-song.
Colin: Yes, we're back! Yet again Per manages to surprise us and create an album that is totally different from anything else he's ever done - and yes, me like!
Judith: I'm very surprised, positively surprised, about this album. I was impressed by "Silly Really" from the first moment, and I actually expected the whole album to be like that, kind of disco feeling "let's dance!". The album, however, contains only a few fast songs. At the beginning one might think "Why is this called 'Party Crasher'?", but after listening to the album a couple of times, I started to understand what the title means to me. This release is a big party, a welcome back. For once, finally, I like most of the songs on the album! Any frequent reader of TDR will know, the past Gessle albums for me have been like "yeah, it's ok but nothing special" and I've forgotten about them after a few listenings and ended up with 2-3 songs of each in my mp3-player. This is totally different this time.
Thomas: Wow, time goes so fast, here is another album by the Man… This is the fifth Aerosol Grey Machine-album, and it sounds nothing like the other four. Let's get it on!
Visa: The first track and single shows the new direction of Per. Gone is the back-to-basics pop-rock of "Mazarin," "En händig man," and "Son of a Plumber," now it's time for computers and dance beats. "Silly Really" stands out on the album. I'm not sure if it's entirely a good thing. It feels a bit more polished, more "produced," if you will, than the other songs. It's hard to say if the other songs have the same hit potential. This song certainly has. And it's going all Michael Jackson-Thriller in the end. Gotta love it!
Thomas: I asked Per about the album's direction sometime this summer, and when he said "Thriller" I assumed he was joking, as usual. But turns out he wasn't! I love this song, it does stand out, but I wouldn't say too much? A perfect album opener, and you just gotta love the video… I do hope this gets a wider release. Remixes anyone??
Colin: Oh yes, let's get this party started (or should I say crashed?) - it kicks off with the single, groovy!
The Party Pleaser
Visa: The bubblegum pop Per knows inside out. Nothing spectacular, but goes on like a rocket to a club on the Moon. I wouldn't have put this song next to "Silly Really." Now it feels like a sequel. It may have had a better place between the ballads later on the album. A fine song, anyway.
Thomas: If this isn't a smack-in-the-face-shut-your-mouth, nothing is! I really like this song, and I have to agree with Anders Nunstedt (which I don't always do) that it sounds like two Rox-robots mangling P!nk with a steamroller. The fastest track of the album?
Judith: Let's party… or let's go on partying!
Colin: What could I possibly say more about this track? I really love the verse and the way it builds up to the chorus, we're still on the dance floor!
Stuck Here With Me
Colin: I first heard a snippet of this song in a documentary and I instantly fell in love with it. Helena is awesome in this song and I totally digg this vibe! Even though I'd only heard a small bit of the song then, it stuck in my mind until I got the entire song and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised - excellent job Mr. Gessle: Timbaland can leave the building. Definitely my favorite song on the album!
Judith: There are two songs on the album I'll possibly skip. This is the one of them. I like the music, I like the lyrics, I like everything… except Per's falsetto. Sorry, that is a no-go for me. I might keep it on my player in the end, time will tell.
Visa: What, Per goes r'n'b?! I don't like this kind of music much, so no thank you, sir! Expressen's Anders Nunstedt thought this song sounds like Justin Timberlake. Maybe it does.
Thomas: This certainly isn't my cuppa either, but I do enjoy the massively heavy bass on this song, and it kind of sticks in my head. R'n'b á la Justin (or anyone) makes me cringe, but if nothing else, C&C prove they can match it with the best out there. Great production on this one! I played this song on a huge PA-system today, and the bass made the walls vibrate…
Visa: Ballad with lots of Helena singing. Would sound great live, with acoustic piano only.
Thomas: I was actually thinking to myself "How the hell will they be able to play this album live?" "Sing Along," which used to be named "Sing-A-Long," is a cutie. Helena's voice is so nice on this album and this song is no exception. I get some small Roxette vibes here.It's something in the production I can't really lay my hands on, but it's there.
Visa: The only song on the album that is more rock, with a reference to T. Rex. Rolls on nicely and has a certain Gyllene Tider sound in the synth. It should be Göran and his Farfisa!
Thomas: Ha ha ha, yes, this is definitely GT on speed! Lots of guitar, at least to be this album. I just can't figure out where the riff is borrowed from. The first time I heard it I was almost sure it was a cover. One of the last songs to be recorded.
Thomas: Oh, this is the "Michael Jackson" song! When I heard this the first time I almost cried, and not from happiness! But after say 10 spins I had this at the top of my list. Very nice ballad, sung in a totally non-Per way. Lot's of Helena in it too.
Visa: Per lists this as one of his best songs ever. Well, it's a beautiful ballad, but not without its shortcomings. I would've wished the song had more power towards the end. Now it ends up being a bit bland.
Judith: I must agree on Per's comment! I think the song is one of the best on the album, together with "I'm Glad You Called."
Thomas: Which isn't on the actual album of course.
Colin: This reminds me of the Plumber album. Helena's voice really fits Per's - a match made in heaven! This song sucks you in and before you know you're on a tropical island, whistling in the sun…
Breathe Life Into Me
Colin: Ahh, time to relax! This song is extremely contagious. You just want to lay back and start whistling yourself, preferably sipping on some good old Jamaican rum.
Judith: This is the one I always skip. I don't think it fits the album either.
Visa: Another ballad. Less Helena this time. I like Per's singing voice on this song. The arrangement fits his voice superbly.
Thomas: I totally adore this song! Light and airy with a small reggae backbeat and some synthesizer whistling. And if I'm not mistaken they have added a Farfisa or similar to the background!
Hey, I Died And Went To Heaven
Visa: Lovely ballad with Per singing verses and Helena singing the chorus. The chorus really gets stuck on you.
Judith: Another favorite. Got stuck in my head, too, from the beginning.
Thomas: Sorry to say, but I can't stand this one. And what's even worse, it gets worse every time I listen to it. I totally skip this now. However, I do think the chorus is OK, it's the dreary monotonous verse that drives me insane. Sorry again Per!
Colin: I have to apologize, too. I haven't listened to it much, though it's a nice ballad. For some reason I keep skipping it!
Kissing Is The Key
Thomas: One of my absolute favorites of the album. Hard to describe it, it's (almost) a mid-tempo song that has for instance a "ray gun" in the background, also kissing noises and a groovy "chica-chi-chica-chi" in the beginning. I want this to be single #2.
Visa: Yes, this can very well be the next single. Funny lyrics and a nice beat. They could've left that kissing sound out, though!
Judith: My first thought "What? Kylie?" and then I couldn't stop my feet and my body.
Colin: That's some good single material right there, you got that right, Visa. Why not make a remix 12" again? This song deserves it!
Thai With A Twist
Visa: Good to know that "womanizer" rhymes with "tranquilizer"… Power pop with nonsense lyrics. Per knows his business! I don't like the title, though, it sounds like a slogan for frozen food.
Thomas: Yes indeed. What is Thai with a twist? Thai food with some lemon juice on? Ha ha! Strange title, great song. Typical "The Look" or "Crush on You" lyrics. I can hear Roxette or Gyllene Tider record this. Don't like the saxophone! Note to C&C: Audience sounds yes, sax no!
Colin: My second-favorite song on the album - this chorus is Per at his best. Not sure aboutthe audience and sax though, I'd love to hear this live (I'll do the audience part)!
I Didn't Mean To Turn You
Visa: Have you noticed that the lyrics for all the songs in the world are actually about sex? If the lyrics first sound like they don't, it's only because they use metaphors. Then there are these songs that are saying it very straight out. Let's have sex and let's do it now!
Thomas: All songs? What about "Tuffa tider"? This is the B-side of the single "Silly Really," and according to C&C too good to be left out. I agree, even though I didn't enjoy the flute the first time I heard it. What can I say? It grew on me, and I absolutely love the line "By the way, no way she's your kind! (She's not your kind!)"
Visa: Well, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit. But think about it next time you listen to the radio. You can get much fun out of it.
Colin: At first I didn't really know what to think of this. When I first got the new single, I felt like back when 'Do You Wanna Be My Baby?' was released. I was shocked at Per's new style then and I had to listen the song a few times just to recognize his voice and be convinced it was really him! The instrumental part stick around and I find myself whistling it occasionally.
Doesn't Make Sense
Visa: Sounds a lot like one of my all-time favorites, the French electro-pop group Air. And with that sound, you can't go wrong. Excellent ending to an excellent album!
Thomas: I know I sound like a broken record, but this is a favorite of mine! Rather unorthodox of Per to end an album with a song like this. Quite fast-paced ballad, or is it even a ballad? Obviously the lyrics are written for Woody!
Judith: For some reason I didn't listen to this song the first couple of times I listened to the album, it was a great surprise when I did. I know, I am just like "great, amazing, perfect," I guess it's easier to negatively review something, on the other hand, I can't get enough of this album, so what should I say? Luv it!
Colin: Yes, an interesting song to close the album! In my opinion ' I'm Glad You Called' would've been a better closer, but this is still a very good song.
I'm Glad You Called (iTunes bonus track)
Thomas: Hmmm, Roxette meets Enya, and with great results! A track that didn't fit the style of the album so it was left off. I can see that as it doesn't fit the style, but the track is way too good to not be released. I've added this as the last track on my home made CD!
Visa: I was thinking about Enya in the intro of the song, too. I don't like the song too much. It sounds like a b-side or a demo. But of course, Per's demos are of very high quality!
Colin: Like Thomas, I added this as an album closer as well. After Roberta of course! At first I thought this could be rather boring but it turns out to be really, really nice!
Theme From "Roberta Right" (Telia bonus track)
Thomas: Roberta rocks! And it starts like a Nintendo video game! I mean the music… duh…
Visa: Whoa! Why is this song only released as a bonus track to Telia customers? There should be a way for everyone to get their hands on this song. Sounds like a Roxette song from the Room Service-era. And it really should be Marie singing that one part at 1:15…
Thomas: Yes, "Come along, come alive!" and "Nothing, nothing, NOTHING!!" Helena reaches new levels on this track, and how about that AC/DC inspired riff? I'm going out on a limb here, but this should be single #2 off "Party Crasher"! I know I said that before too. Even if it's not actually on it… It's sad that it gets released only via Telia with much worse quality than for instance iTunes, but especially a CD.
Judith: My first thought was "Why were these two songs left out of the album?" They surely deserve much more than being 10110! I hope they both are released as they should, on a CD, with their place on the booklet.
Colin: Wow! This track is awesome! Did C&C find an old Commodore computer somewhere? Per definately keeps the party going!
Thomas: Gabriel Gessle co-wrote this. Good one Gabe!
Judith: The "you don't know what's happening to me, you don't know what you are doing to me" in "Sing Along." The explosion on "Thai." The chorus on "Kissing." I want more of "Perfect Excuse"! Those hidden sounds, effects, those funny clever lyrics I've always loved of Per's songs, that feeling is finally back!
Visa: I was going to say that the explosion on "Thai" should've been left out! But maybe I'd like Marie's recent music more if it had more explosions.
Judith: Music is, to me, all about feelings. I don't care much how famous an artist is, how good an artist should be, how many stars an album has on Amazon. All I care about is what I feel when I listen to the album. Do I have fun? Do I cry? Do I get angry? Do I want to close my eyes when that special part of one song is approaching and just enjoy it? Do I want to listen to it again and again? Then it's just the best album for me. And this is just what PC is.
And, going back to the title, actually, the album is great background music for an evening having dinner party home drinking some wine with some good friends. Just chill-out, relax, laugh, have fun. Believe me, I've tried, ha ha!
And, yes, I must say it, Helena is great on this one. "Perfect excuse," "Hey I Died," "Sing Along." Hats off!
Visa: As I already said, I think this album is excellent. It may be a bit of a surprise to many, but it's just that this time it's more "Roxette-Per" than "Mazarin-Per." Many of the songs would've been perfect as Roxette songs. Every day, I find a different song from this album playing in my head. Every song has earned its place on this album.
Thomas: I give this album 4.5 out of 5. It's a very nice album, not very Per Gessle, while at the same time it is. I can imagine he wanted "Scener" to sound something along the lines with this album in 1985. I can certainly recommend it to anyone who likes good, swinging music.
Colin: Overall I would say that this album is a very welcome surprise! It's nothing like we would've expected, but then again, that would be boring, wouldn't it? I think the vibe and atmosphere this album creates started in some of the Plumber songs. Helena sings more, and with excellent results! I really like their voices together and can't wait to see this stuff live on stage…
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November 26th, 2008
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This article was posted here on TDR in these categories:
Archive, TDR:Editorial, TDR:Per Gessle, TDR:Releases, vintage.