War of the Idols

At the moment, there are new songs by not 1, not 2, but 5 male Idol contestants in the Swedish charts. In fact, there is one from each year that Idol has existed! So let’s see now, once and for all, which year was the best…

2004: Darin Zanyar – Breathing Your Love (ft. Kat DeLuna)
Although he only came second, Darin is the most successful artist to emerge from the Idol series in Sweden. Proving that Swedes have excellent taste, he’s also my favourite. His new album will be his fourth, and after his past three have been increasingly at the forefront of pop music worldwide, I’m expecting a lot from it. With the first single, he’s doing the electro-r’n’b Chris Brown and Ne-Yo have recently dabbled with, which is a good idea, since I’ve always seen him as the artist Chris Brown is afraid to be. Despite featuring one of r’n’b’s lesser female acts (although she does have one almost-great song), he has made a single better than anything Chris or Ne-Yo has done. However much their poptasticness improves, Darin always seems to be a step ahead, and that’s what makes him a fantastic, and criminally ignored artist.

2005: Sebastian Karlsson – My Getaway
Sebastian is another very popular Idol, but he’s always been quite average compared to other Swedish popstars, in my opinion. His only real triumph was his Melodifestivalen entry, When the Night Comes Falling. This new single, the first from his third album, is clearly aiming to make him a more serious artist, which everyone who cringed at the phrase “my next album will have a more mature sound” in the Smash Hits/TOTP days will know is always a recipe for disastrous dullness. There is one amusing bit, though, when he seems to sing “I’ll be strong, send in trolls” – not sure how that will help with whatever he’s dealing with, but I suppose it’s worth a try!

2006: Markus Fagervall – If You Don’t Mean It
My Aussie readers will recognise this as Idol contestant Dean Geyer’s first single – for the rest of you, this was first sung by Ty from Neighbours! Obviously it didn’t go that well for him, if he ended up in a TV soap (albeit the best one), so lets hope Markus has a bit more luck. He gets played a lot on Rix FM, but despite being the only winner among the boys I’m talking about in this post, he’s never done anything very memorable before. In fact, I can’t name any of his past hits, although Wikipedia says Everything Changes was a number one. This is just as unmemorable, but it is a pleasant boybandy tune. I just can’t stand Markus’ face, and I don’t see the point in a one-man-boyband who doesn’t even have good looks on his side.

2007: Daniel Karlsson – Would You Believe
He was my favourite in Idol last year, so my expectations for his music were high, and I must say I’m a bit disappointed. The single does capture Daniel’s personal style and sound, but it’s just a bit lacking in sparkle. It’s still superior to Markus or Sebastian’s efforts, but with the very high standards of the Swedish pop industry, he needs to release something amazing in order to stand out, and I think people like Brolle and The Ark can do this kind of thing far better. I’m really pleased that he’s releasing stuff, and I’ll be excited to hear his album, but I’m sad that the first single’s not the masterpiece I was expecting from Daniel. I’ll just have to listen to his great version of You’re The Voice instead. Then again, on second listen, this is growing on me a lot, so maybe I’ll be obsessed with it by tomorrow and retracting all negative comments. It happens!

2008: Alexander Konstantoulas – I’m Sorry
Alexander is a bit of an Idol stalwart, having almost reached the finals twice, and this year after he once again failed to do so, someone decided to give him a chance and now he has released his very own single – more than what many of the actual finalists ever achieve! This song was written by Anders Johansson, one of the winners of Fame Factory (a pre-Idol Swedish talent contest), and it sounds just like you’d expect for one of his cast-offs i.e. very dull sub-Westlife rubbish. If this is what Alexander planned to release if he had done well in Idol 2008, then it’s a huge relief that he didn’t!

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