The next round up of our much beloved schlager music, looks at, and salutes, the confident delivery! It’s all very well having a killer tune at your disposal, but even the best songs can get lost if their performance is a train wreck of shattered nerves and shaky vocals. So we’ve selected three of the most confident, almost cocky deliveries of schlager music for you to see how it should be done!
By nature, schlager is a rousing, feelgood genre, and there are usually pivotal points to each song; the bit in between the first bridge and the first chorus where the song often changes pace, the middle eight, the key change etc etc (it’s different for every song obviously). But these moments need to be conveyed perfectly, otherwise they’re tainted! For example, when a schlager song starts off as a ballad, there needs to be that knowing glint in the performer’s eyes and smile, that says ‘’I know this tempo is going to go nuts in 30 seconds, YOU know this tempo is going to go nuts in 30 seconds, isn’t this exciting, don’t you just LOVE it?!!!!!’’
These three performances display an uncompromising confidence. You can just see it in their faces that they’re well aware of the fact that they’ve got a good song and that you’re going to love it whether you like it or not!
3. Sanna Nielsen – ‘Vagar Du Vagar Ja’
This is perhaps the best example of what we were talking about above – when a schlager song starts off as a ballad, but the singer makes us well aware of what’s to come once the first verse is over. Sanna can actually barely contain her excitement at the fact! Once the song really gets going though, she doesn’t slip up. The dance routine is in absolutely perfect synch with the backing dancers, and she manages to strut around the stage waving her arms at the right moments all whilst getting every camera shot correct. The fact that she does all this with an air of effortlessness and a permanent smile is all the more endearing. Nobody could have watched that performance and questioned her status as a top notch scandipopstar. It was inevitable really that her next appearance at Melodifestivalen a year later in 2008 would see her enter with a ‘nation’s sweetheart’ type ballad. Come back to schlager Sanna, we miss you (although granted, it should be pointed out that ‘Nobody Without You’ and ‘Strong’ from her last album are both amazing!!!)
2. Charlotte Perrelli – ‘Hero’
1. Shirley Clamp – ‘Att Alska Deg’
Nine years after winning the Eurovision Song Contest for Sweden, Charlotte Perrelli returned to Melodifestivalen with ‘Hero’. And for three minutes she managed to hold an expression on her face that said ‘’I’m back! I know you’ve missed me and needed me, but don’t worry – I’m here now. Everything’s going to be fine”. And to be fair to her, she was right! She walked it, and rightly so. ‘Hero’ is a monster of a schlager anthem – it’ll be a classic for years to come. Plus, for anyone with that much botox and plastic surgery to hold any expression on her face for that long, is impressive enough!
Poor Shirley. 2005 was supposed to be HER year. In 2004 she’d risen through the ranks of schlager with her anthem, ‘Min Karlek’, but had had to settle for second place at the Melodifestivalen competition. Why? Because that was the year that Lena Philipsson decided to stage her comeback with ‘Det Gor Ont’. 2005 however had no such regal schlager divas (we always think of Nanne as a Dame rather than a Queen!) to get in Shirley’s way. And with an anthemic song to enter with, ‘Att Alskar Deg’, everybody told her that she was the sure fire winner that year. As a result, Shirley believed them, and turned in what was possibly the most confident performance of all time on the Melodifestivalen stage. She was practically laughing during some moments! Her arms outstretched to the camera bordered on ecclesiastical divinity. And for three minutes viewers were treated to a perfect performance lacking any flaw whatsoever. This got her straight through her Heat and into the final. But in the final for whatever reason, nerves got the better of her. There was no way she’d be able to equal her performance in the Heat, but anything less would disappoint. And it did. 🙁