International Video Challenge

Representing Finland: Kim Herold – Social Butterfly
I started off thinking this was a misguided mix of the styles of Vincent and Kid Rock, but I soon found myself bopping along to its jolly tune. I like the whistling, the quirky video, and the amusingly odd lyrics. My favourite bit is when he sings “woke up with my best friend’s hat” and does a dance move to match, which happens to be the same as Steps famously used in Tragedy! Finland is really not a good country for pop music, with Astrid Swan being the only Finnish act I’d call myself a fan of. This is good for them, but for their Swedish, Danish or Norwegian neighbours, it would be considered quite poor. I suppose the Finns are no less pop-productive than the Swiss or Austrians, for example, but when they’re situated right next door to Europe’s premier pop nation, they need to try a bit harder.

Representing Moldova: Crazy Loop – Johanna (Shut Up)
Former O-Zone member Dan Bălan’s alter-ego Crazy Loop is back with a new single, and its just as crazy and loopy as the last one, but far less addictive and much more annoying. The video is quite disturbing too, with trashy Barbie dolls coming to life. In fact, the best bit of it is when the kids who own the dolls listen to Crazy Loop (Mm-Ma-Ma) at the beginning. Dan has released a whole album as Crazy Loop, a few tracks from which you can hear on his MySpace, and quelle surprise they are universally terrible. Rather amusingly, he also has a rock band, but the first song on their MySpace is a rock version of Mai Ai Hi! It’s not bad, actually…

Representing Denmark: Hej Matematik – Walkmand
Recognise anyone in this video? You should! This electro-pop duo is composed of Søren Rasted from Aqua and his nephew, Nicolaj. Søren (who wrote and produced Aqua’s songs along with Claus) is now married to Lene from Aqua, with 2 children, and she appeared on one of the HM album tracks. I haven’t been able to hear it yet, so would be pleased if anyone has a suggestion of where to find a clip online. Hej Matematik are an interesting band, at times seeming serious but then remembering that Søren is from Aqua, and becoming poptastic again. I think their previous single Du og Jeg (meaning You and I) was much better, but this one has been quite successful, currently sitting at no.4 in the Danish charts. I’m also still amused by when Zane Lowe unwittingly played Søren’s LazyB song on his radio show!

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