Sorry what? Eurovision was last week? If that managed to pass regular readers by, they would also have missed the debut of the new single by 2012 contest winner Loreen, performed as part of a medley in the grand final’s interval.
The frustrating thing about Loreen’s last 12 months has been the apparent failure to capitalise on the massive European success of “Euphoria”, which was certainly the most commercially successful Eurovision winner in recent memory. Travelling across Eastern Europe in September, it was still a staple on radio and still blared out of clubs, and doesn’t show any sign of waning popularity.
In creating such a monster success, Loreen (or more accurately the label) has found it hard to follow it up with anything in a focused manner. The video was released months after her win (itself months after its selection). The album felt a bit uncertain when pushing singles – was it to be new track “Crying out your name”, or a remix of year-old “My heart is refusing me”? Or even its follow-up single “Sober” in a remixed form?
A bit of a baffling situation for the casual fan, but in time-honoured tradition she would have the eyes of Europe all in one place once more, as the incumbent winner at Malmö’s 2013 Eurovision song contest. And here we are, a second chance to make lightning strike twice.
An anthemic quasi-dance pop track, it’s not trying to be another “Euphoria”, as much as people might beg for it. It’s effortlessly cool, but thankfully this time lit looks like there’s a plan. It’s a natural progression from debut album “Heal”, and that gives me hope for another good album.
Loreen is a pretty cool and distinctive figure, with the trademark feral fringe and deadpan demeanour often masking the thoughtful and likeable woman. OK so the ‘artiste’ side makes her a tricky idol for the schlager fans, grateful that she brought Eurovision back to Sweden. I must say that “Heal” wasn’t the dance-pop album I hoped for, but there is plenty of that stuff in the world, and I can at least see that she’s committed to what she does and believes in it, and only good things can come of that.
I think “We got the power” might not spread a message of good grammar, but it suits her really well, and the more I hear it the more it grows on me. It might be a little too engineered to take on a life as an actual anthem for the downtrodden or oppressed, but as a song it summarises a lot of what I love about Loreen. It’s a bleak but powerful track with a striking video full of Scandinavian imagery and even Loreen breaking character at the end.
If you love this, I recommend listening to Utada’s “Exodus” album, I feel there’s a lot in the production this song that reminds me of that.