Schlager, ABBA’s gift to the world of Eurovision

To this day, Eurovision songs have a healthy quota of what the Swedes call “schlager”, pop hit music in the style of ABBA. Seemingly custom-made to be simple and catchy for a three-minute contest format, schlager songs are the ultimate ear-worms. Listen once or twice and you can’t get them out of your head. Schlager comes in two speeds, uptempo and ballad, and two moods: insanely happy (that’s an exaggeration, of course) and sweetly melancholy.

This entry from 2001 sounds like a creation from Dr. Frankenstein’s pop song lab, with the selector button turned to full Abba-style! FRIENDS, the artist, had a few years of chart success in Sweden before the two leading ladies struck out for their own career as pop duo NINA & KIM. (The song “Listen to Your Heartbeat” is also notorious as one of the innumerable instances of a popular Eurovision entry being accused of plagiarism from another song.)

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