From the moment Sweden’s unique soul ballad princess Loreen took the 2011 Melodifestivalen stage with “My Heart Is Refusing Me”, fans have clamored for a full album from her. Her second single “Sober” raised the bar, so when she entered MF 2012 and took home the trophy, and then topped that with the whole Eurovision victory, the cry for an album became a roar.
Loreen had long maintained that she preferred releasing a series of singles, and thought of any album release as being far in the future. But as the reigning Eurovision queen, her career took on a life of its own and soon a full album was in the works (strike while the iron is hot, as they say).
October 24th marks the release of ‘Heal’, 12 tracks of electronic audio bliss that range from the dance club anthems we are used to (like “Euphoria” and new followup single “Crying Out Your Name”) to lush, stormy ballads with blissed-out electronic “acoustic” production.
Our friend Karl Batterbee at Scandipop has previewed Loreen’s CD, and this is what he says we can expect:
On the one hand there were lots of signs pointing towards a very large likelihood and probability that ‘Heal’ could and would easily end up being one of the best albums of 2012. The first three singles, the fact it’s LOREEN, the way they seemed to be spending so much time on it, etc. But then on the other hand, Loreen herself had given a few worrying indications in various interviews, that the album wasn’t going to be what people were expecting. That if people were looking for an album of 12 ‘Euphoria’s, they would be disappointed. She’d actually even said to us personally in an interview we did with her for a magazine, that it was going to be half dance and half acoustic. Erm…….
Thankfully though, either something changed somewhere down the line, or perhaps her idea of acoustic is a little bit different to ours. In truth – yes it’s half dance and half balladry. But that latter half is lush, electronic, epic balladry, at that. So all is well – we’re happy campers.
It goes without saying that those dance tracks are still our favourite parts though. The first three singles, and brand new single ‘Crying Out Your Name’ don’t ever dip below being a 9.5 out of 10 moment, not even for a second (despite the two of those from 2011 – ‘My Heart Is Refusing Me’ and ‘Sober’ – having been remixed for the new album). Then there’s ‘In My Head’ which seems like the no brainer to be the next single after ‘Crying Out Your Name’ (we actually heard that Warner Music AGONISED for quite some time between two songs in particular to be the follow-up to ‘Euphoria’, so we’re guessing this was the other one). It’s big on the strings and big on the drama – two hallmarks of our heroine Loreen. Those who miss the original version of ‘My Heart Is Refusing Me’ on the album, should take a lot of solace from ‘In My Head’. The frantic piano middle eight is pure beauty. Also of note is ‘See You Again’, which is probably the most commercial thing on here aside from ‘Euphoria’ and the brand new version of ‘My Heart Is Refusing Me’. It’s on its own on here though, in that it’s the sort of song that you could imagine anyone singing, not just Loreen. It’s very good, but it’s also quite generic in comparison to the other tracks on here. But we’re the first to the dance floor when we hear a bit of generic pop, so we’re liking it probably a lot more than the Loreen purists will.
He has much more to say, so definitely seek out the full review. And while you are there, check out the Scandipop store, which along with the full treasure trove of goodies already available will be shipping out Loreen’s ‘Heal’ as soon as it is released!