Single Review: Loreen – I’m In It With You

Loreen I'm In It With You cover

Loreen comes back strong with dramatic ballad
Loreen, who had a huge international hit with ‘Euphoria’ after she won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012, is all set to release a new single, called ‘I’m In It With You’, co-written by pop star Kiesza and producers Espen Berg and Simen M. Eriksrud, on the 14th of August. Unfortunately for her and her team, the track already leaked on the 11th. Actually, it’s not that unfortunate for us, because now we get to enjoy this epic ballad a little earlier! Loreen does not shy away from a little drama in her songs and performances and that is exactly what makes ‘I’m In It With You’ completely amazing!

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Single Review: Loreen – Paper Light (Higher)

Loreen Paper Light cover

Loreen back in full swing with new single ‘Paper Light (Higher)’

You all remember Loreen, right? She’s the Swedish singer who basically helped the Eurovision Song Contest back into the European charts with her winning single ‘Euphoria’ in 2012. She won the contest by a landslide and the song was all you heard at every party that summer all around the continent. After all the craziness and the release of her debut album, she took some time off to record new music and now she is ready for her comeback with the new single ‘Paper Light (Higher)’.

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Gig Review: Loreen at Melkweg

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Loreen finally pleases Dutch fans with show in Amsterdam

Although it has been almost two years since Loreen won the Eurovision Song Contest with her huge hit ‘Euphoria’, last night was the first time she played a headlining gig in Amsterdam. The singer was supposed to perform here in December last year, but postponed her tour due to commitments in the studio. Although she did not manage to sell out de Melkweg completely, Loreen was surprised by the amount of people that showed up to see her in concert. If anything became clear from the hour that Loreen stood on the stage, it is that she moved on from winning Eurovision and developed herself into a confident and quirky performer of beat heavy electronic pop, dance and house music.

Loreen even brought a support act with her. The duo MNRS from London played a solid set of enjoyable electro pop songs. Especially in the vocals, the band reminded a bit of British band Hurts. After that, Loreen took the stage to open with her most recent single ‘We Got The Power’, that she released and performed during the Eurovision Song Contest in 2013 in her country Sweden. Although Loreen played quite a few songs from her debut album Heal, it felt like she played a lot of new tracks, because she made new arrangements and beats for all of the previously released songs. The single ‘Crying Out Your Name’ that originally has some drum and bass influences was turned into a pumping house track and ‘Everytime’ that has quite a minimal instrumentation on the album was updated with fat beats during the verses.

She also played her singles ‘In My Head’, ‘My Heart Is Refusing Me’ and album track ‘Sidewalk’ in new versions, often sounding somewhat darker, louder and explosive. Where the songs all sound quite polished and radio friendly on the album, during live performances Loreen turns them into heavier and more intense mixes of pop, electro, dance and house. She also played two new songs of which the first was a quite instant midtempo track with a great and catchy chorus and swinging beats. The lyrics that were something like ‘you’re mine forever, if we die, we die together’ immediately settle in your head which is a good thing. The second new song was kind of a rave anthem with the loudest and most alternative sound Loreen has given herself so far. The style could be described as a Robyn track gone even wilder. Still, somewhere in the noisy production there were some quite strong hooks hidden, which will probably come across better in a studio version.

Of course Loreen ended her performance with her Eurovision winning hit ‘Euphoria’. Although all the updated versions and remixes she performed during the gig were refreshing and interesting, it would have been good to hear Euphoria live in its original version, but Loreen also changed the biggest hit everyone was eager to hear live. Luckily, it did not stop the audience from singing along passionately to the song that managed to place to Eurovision Song Contest in a much more positive and contemporary light. It was slightly disappointing that she did not come back for an encore after only one hour on stage, but other than that her gig was totally worth the wait. Here’s hoping that new singles and a second album will come sooner than later!

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Concert Recensie: Loreen in de Melkweg

Loreen trakteert fans eindelijk op show in Amsterdam

Hoewel het alweer bijna twee jaar geleden is dat Loreen het Eurovisie Songfestival won met het lied ‘Euphoria’, was het gisterenavond pas de eerste keer dat de zangeres voor een volledig concert naar Nederland kwam. Het was eigenlijk de bedoeling dat ze in December hier al zou staan, maar door verplichtingen in de studio werd dit uitgesteld. Hoewel ze de oude zaal van de Melkweg niet helemaal wist uit te verkopen, was ze aangenaam verrast door het aantal fans dat op kwam dagen voor haar show. Als er iets duidelijk werd tijdens het uur dat de Zweedse op het podium stond, is het wel dat ze zichzelf flink heeft ontwikkeld tot een eigenzinnige, zelfverzekerde artieste die een uitdagende mix van electro, pop dance en house neerzet.

Loreen nam ook nog een voorprogramma met zich mee. De zaal werd opgewarmd door het Londense electropop duo MNRS. Ze speelden een aangename set van fijne, vaak lekker in het gehoor liggende liedjes. De stem van de zanger deed meer dan eens denken aan het geluid van de Britse band Hurts. Daarna was het de beurt aan Loreen die opende met haar meest recente single ‘We Got The Power’, die ze uitbracht rond het Eurovisie Songfestival van 2013 dat in haar thuisland werd gehouden. Hoewel ze een behoorlijk aantal nummers van haar debuutalbum Heal speelde, voelde het alsof ze meer nieuw materiaal ten gehore bracht, omdat bijna alle liedjes in een nieuw jasje werden gestoken. Van de single ‘Crying Out Your Name’ die eigenlijk behoorlijke invloeden uit drum and bass heeft werd een pompende housetrack van gemaakt en het op het album minimalistisch klinkende ‘Everytime’ werd wat opgeleukt met verse beats.

Daarnaast speelde ze ook de singles ‘In My Head’ en ‘My Heart Is Refusing Me’ en albumtrack ‘Sidewalk’, allen in een wat meer duistere, hardere en meer explosieve versie. Hoewel de liedjes op het album allemaal vrij gepolijst en radiovriendelijk klinken, worden ze live wat zwaarder en intensere mixen van pop, electro, dance en house. Ook gaf de Zweedse alvast wat voorproefjes van haar nieuwe album. Ze speelde twee nieuwe tracks waarvan de eerste een behoorlijk pakkende midtempo track met fijne beats is. De lyrics bevatten de zinnen ‘You’re mine forever, if we die, we die together’ en blijven meteen in je hoofd zitten. De tweede track die Loreen live speelde is een stuk drukker en minder toegankelijk. Het luide en vrij alternatieve geluid deed denken aan een nog pittigere versie van de Zweedse popster Robyn. In de lawaaierige live versie zaten echter wel een aantal goede hooks verstopt die in de studio waarschijnlijk beter uit de verf komen.

Loreen sloot haar show uiteraard af met haar songfestival winnende hit ‘Euphoria’. Hoewel het verfrissend werkte dat ze gedurende het hele concert haar liedjes in nieuwe versies ten gehore bracht, was het misschien beter geweest als ze bij haar grote hit die iedereen graag live wilde horen, zich aan originele arrangement had gehouden. Gelukkig weerhield de aangepaste versie het publiek er niet van om uit volle borst mee te brullen met het lied dat het Eurovisie Songfestival internationaal weer op de kaart wist te zetten. Enigszins teleurstellend was het wel dat Loreen na amper een uur op het podium ook niet meer terugkwam voor een toegift. Dit is echter een klein smetje op een sterk optreden dat zeker enthousiast maakt voor het nieuwe materiaal van de zangeres wat hopelijk snel wordt uitgebracht.

The ten most exciting pop comebacks to happen in 2014

Earlier this week, I wrote about new artists that will make it in 2014, but of course there are lots of established acts that will release new material this year as well. I listed the ten most exciting artists that are working on a smashing comeback. Take a look!

Loreen
10. Loreen
Loreen rose to fame after winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012 with the song ‘Euphoria’. It became a big hit across Europe and the singer released her debut album Heal. Loreen was supposed to go on a tour in December, but she postponed it because she wanted to work on new material in the studio first. She has been posting some pictures from the studio ever since so it seems fair to expect she will release something new in the near future, right? Right!

Frank Ocean promo
09. Frank Ocean
Frank Ocean released his debut album Channel Orange in 2012 and received high praise from music critics. The record did quite well charts wise as well and the singer has been working on some new material, that he already introduced on his recent tour. The singer has been recording in the studio quite some time, so a 2014 release seems likely. If the quality of Channel Orange is anything to go by, Frank Ocean will make another defining quality R&B record.

Lily Allen
08. Lily Allen
Lily Allen started a huge comeback at the end of 2013. She released her most recent album in 2009 and announced to quit music. Luckily she came back though, with the singles ‘Hard Out Here’ and ‘Somewhere Only We Know’, a cover of the Keane song. The latter gave her a number 1 hit in the United Kingdom. Her album is supposed to come out in a few months and she will premiere the new song ‘Air Balloon’ this week. It is good to have her back!

Marina & The Diamonds
07. Marina & The Diamonds
There is no official announcement made yet, that said Marina & The Diamonds will return with a new album in 2014. It is very likely however, as the singer finished her Electra Heart era with a video for the song with the same name. At the end, Marina wipes out Electra’s heart on her cheek, which symbolized the end of the campaign. It has been almost two years since the album came out, so I would expect a new release from Marina in the second part of 2014. I surely hope I am right!

Paloma Faith can't rely on you
06. Paloma Faith
In 2012, Paloma Faith had a very successful year with the release of her sophomore album Fall To Grace. After a tour through the UK, the singer started working on a new record, which will be released on the 3rd of March. This was announced earlier this week on the social media pages of the singer. Her new single ‘Can’t Rely On You’ will be premiered this week. If it is just as good as her previous album and the great single ‘Picking Up The Pieces’, I cannot wait to hear it!

kylie minogue promo
05. Kylie Minogue
Kylie’s most recent studio album Aphrodite was released in 2010. She went on a big tour the next year and celebrated her 25 years in music. In 2013 she signed a management deal with Roc Nation for a fresh new chapter in her career. This new phase started with the promo single ‘Skirt’ last year. The official first single, ‘Into The Blue’, will premiere later this month and is officially released on the 16th of March in the United Kingdom. I guess we are all ready for Kylie’s glorious return to the dance floor.

Sia Furler
04. Sia
This woman was all over pop music last year, but she only released two songs herself. The beautiful and understated ‘Kill And Run’ was used for The Great Gatsby soundtrack and the outstanding collaboration with Diplo and The Weeknd, ‘Elastic Heart’, was featured on the soundtrack of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Other than that, she wrote songs for pop stars like Céline Dion, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Birdy and many more. Let’s not forget her hits with David Guetta and the worldwide smash hit ‘Diamonds’ she wrote for Rihanna. This year, she will release her own songs for a change and if the above mentioned tracks are anything to go by, it will be bloody brilliant.

Shakira can't remember to forget you
03. Shakira
It has been quite a few years since we got new material from Shakira. Her most recent album Sale El Sol came out in 2010. In January 2013, Shakira gave birth to a son and she was a judge on The Voice US for one season. She has also been working on a lot of new music with a great variety of famous producers, DJ’s and writers. The first single, ‘Can’t Remember To Forget You’, which features Rihanna, will come out this week. All I hope for the new record is to bring the best of Shakira’s both worlds: ‘Don’t Bother’-style pop/rock and ‘La Tortura’-style latin pop. That would be amazing, now wouldn’t it?

Lana Del Rey Ultraviolence
02. Lana Del Rey
Two years after the release of her album Born To Die, of course it is time for a new record. Lana Del Rey has been busy in the meantime, recording and releasing new tracks for Paradise, an afterthought on Born To Die. Last year she was featured on the soundtrack of the movie The Great Gatsby, with the gorgeous ‘Young and Beautiful’ and in December, she put out her short film Tropico. At the premiere of the film she announced her new album is called Ultraviolence and it is probably supposed to be released in 2014. She is said to be working with the same people who produced Born To Die. Bring it on Lana!

Adele 2014
01. Adele
There is no doubt about the fact that lots of people are eagerly waiting for a new album by Adele. After the huge successes of her previous record 21, the expectations are extremely high. It might be impossible for her to top that success story, but I am pretty sure that she will make a huge impact on the pop music scene again. Her publicist Paul Moss announced last week that her new album will definitely be released in 2014. The release of 24 (or whatever the record might be called) is coming closer!