tremble clef

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Anneli Drecker, "You Don't Have To Change"/"My Emily" (2005)

Anneli Drecker doesn't get a lot of attention, despite being (1) Norwegian, and (2) a woman (3) working in electropop. You would think that with that combination, she would get mentioned in the same breath as Bertine Zetlitz, Annie, or Margaret Berger, and be already flayed and pickled in Xolondon's basement.

But then again, at 37, she is a bit older than at least the latter two songstresses, having been around since 1985 as the lead singer of Bel Canto, Norway's Cocteau Twins. (Indeed, Anneli was a judge on the season of Norwegian Idol from which Margaret emerged; Anneli was the person who awarded Ms. Berger the wild card that allowed her to move on and eventually become runner-up. Which suggests, if nothing else, that Anneli has impeccable taste and won't ever find herself dismissing a contestant who would go on to become an Oscar-nominated supporting actress, Simon.) Moreover, although Bel Canto has been pretty inactive since the late 90s, Anneli has only released two solo albums -- Tundra in 2000, and Frolic in 2005. That's not quite enough to catapult her into any kind of international, or even blog, limelight. If Anneli is known or recognized lately, chances are that it would be for working with a-ha (on Lifelines' "Turn The Lights Down," or on tour), or more likely for her vocals on Röyksopp's "Sparks."

Which is a bit of a pity. I've never managed to get my hands on Tundra, but Frolic is an overlooked album that I still enjoy large stretches of. Its first single should have been a huge hit: produced by Röyksopp, "You Don't Have To Change" is an ethereal stomper in the vein of "Poor Leno," only with added whistling. Electro-ballad "My Emily" is in many ways even better, mostly because it sounds like what we stereotypically want our Norwegian female pop to sound like: icy and unbearably emotional at the same time. The song was originally meant for an aborted Morten Harket solo album, and thus written with his "voice in [Anneli's] head". While Morten and his girlie powerful pipes would have likely done the song justice, it feels more interesting in Anneli's hands if only because her relationship to "Emily" is necessarily less defined. The song is so absolutely beautiful that I can hardly stand it.

Also: Since Bertine has come up in today's, and indirectly in Tuesday's post, can I ask what's been going on in Camp Zetlitz? I know she's pregnant, which accounts for the lack of promotion for (and thus far, a third single from) My Italian Greyhound. (And yet, weirdly enough, I only recently noticed that you can buy a "clean version" of the album on the US iTunes store.) But what are these rumors I hear about the next single being a duet, with Thom "Who The" Hell, of "Islands In The Stream," which you can in fact hear at her myspace page? A cover that does not at all show off Bertine's higher register, and thus feels lifeless and plodding? Why not release your own rewrite of "Islands" (aka "Get What You Deserve") instead, Bert?


  • Love the Kenny Dolly cover - I hate that song and somehow I love their version. Who IS Tom Hell? I love the familiar piano line that comes in at minute 3. Fab.

    I'll play this new chick a few times before I put her in the pit.

    By Blogger xolondon, at 8:26 AM  

  • I've always hated that song and I really don't like it now. Very disappointed to hear Bertine go of down that route, your comments are spot on for me!

    Thanks for the Anneli Drecker songs though, I'd not heard of her so a great new find for me. Cheers!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:45 PM  

  • "My Emily" sounds a bit dated to me (chillout circa 1998), but "You Don't Have To Change" is exactly the hit that should've been!

    By Blogger daavid, at 3:13 PM  

  • "I wasn't ready for this..." but thanks anyway! "All I Know" is bee-ew-tee-fool!!
    I've cherry-picked some lovely tracks from the Drecker. Thanks Trembleclef. Can't bear to think of Morten Harket owning "My Emily"... tsk. x

    By Blogger Phil, at 8:57 AM  

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