Thursday, 1 January 2009

A great start to 2009...!

Well...did you hear Salem's concert on P4 on New Year's Day? (If you didn't or if you want to hear it again and again - as I do - you can find it at ).

Song list:
This Is Who I Am
Good Song
Dream Girl
It's Only You Part II
Damien and Bob
Purple Lady (not sure if this is the song title?)
The Astronaut
One of the Others
Twelve Fingers

If any of you were at any of the Berwaldhallen concerts, can you let me know if Salem did any more songs which weren't broadcast on P4? (I know that "Tell Me" was one of them, as this was mentioned in the Svenska Dagbladet review). I got the feeling that it was an edited version of the show. Not that there was anything wrong with the Swedish Radio Orchestra's interludes and Anders Widmark's solo pieces, but given the choice I would rather have heard more of Salem's songs in this radio broadcast.

It all started with "Begin" appropriately, as a nice overture to the show, which ran smoothly into "This Is Who I Am" which was probably one of the most successful songs with the orchestral backing.

I think there may have been another song between this and "Good Song" as Swedish radio didn't do a very good job of the editing here!!

Of course you all know that "Good Song" is my favourite Salem song but I will be honest and say that I've heard better live versions of this, Salem sang well but was a little drowned out at times by the occasionally messy musical arrangement which (IMHO) didn't do the song justice.

"Dream Girl" next, which is still an utterly enchanting song. Salem's voice is getting better and better, stronger and more expressive whilst retaining that sensitivity which makes his voice so distinctive. I thought this was great with the orchestra as the arrangement was both grand and restrained at the same time.

Next was "It's Only You Part II" where the sparkling synth-pop of the recorded version was swapped for an equally sparkling orchestral backdrop. I didn't think this was going to work....but it did.

"Damien and Bob" as you know is probably one of my least favourite Salem songs but I've learned to live with it and did go through a brief period when I began to like it then didn't like it again....anyway I haven't really changed my mind here. I thought this was a bit of a mess with the orchestra, but it was interesting to hear him sing it anyway.

Then a complete contrast and a new song I hadn't heard before so I don't know if I've got the title right - "Purple Lady". I can only describe this as being very close in musical spirit to "Hymn" and has the same childlike, lullaby quality. Incredibly pretty.

"The Astronaut" is already popular with Salem fans and was the only song of the night where Salem didn't use the orchestra but instead just sang and played this on acoustic guitar. I like this song a lot and have listened to it so many times that it's like an old favourite now.

I think there may have been more editing at this point as it went straight into "It's True", a timeless song which seems to work in any version - whether the piano-based original or Axwell's dance mix, so add yet another great version to the list - I thought this was perfect with the orchestral backing, particularly the string arrangements - and Salem also sang this perfectly.

And then it was time for my favourite new Salem song - "One of the Others" which I'd previously heard on a YouTube phone-video and declared my total, complete and absolute love for this song. After today I love it even more. Salem is becoming an even more talented lyricist than he was before - the lyrics on this are very clever indeed. Everything about this was perfect - the orchestral arrangement was fabulous and really suited the song. Please excuse me for going over the top, but ....well, I just love this song and I can't wait till it's on the album!! At which time I will probably wear out the CD!!

Last but not least, "Twelve Fingers" which brought the concert to a lively and grand conclusion. Once again, the orchestral backing really suited this song.

A brilliant show which proved (what we already know) that Salem is a fantastic singer, musician and performer.

Above: Salem at Berwaldhallen (Picture courtesy of Expressen)


Anonymous said...

I went to see Salem at Berwaldhallen and also listened to the show on P4 yesterday. I have to say that the recording did not do the concert justice!

Salem performed Good song two times at the concert I went to (the last one). I don't know wich concert that P4 had recorded, sometimes it sounded like the one I went to and sometimes not.
Anyway, Salem said that he never succeded to remember all the lyrics in Good song at all three concerts, because when he sang it he suddenly stopped for a while. In the end Salem played Good song once again, and then managed to remember allt he lyrics. That was the version on P4. That explains the bad editing ;D.

Hmm... I don't think there was any other song Salem sang. There was some more songs, for example Anders Widmark played No woman, no cry with Bob Marley =).

Too bad you weren't able to be there in real person, it was a totally different experience.

Anonymous said...

I truly agree with you, "One of the others" is a fantastic song! Love it!
I was at one of the concerts and you are right, "Tell me" was played between "Good song" and "Dream girl". And the title of the new song was also correct "Purple lady". There were no more Salem-songs in the original program. "Twelve fingers" was actually not part of the official program - it was the bonussong when the audience wanted to hear more. "Damien and Bob" was introduced as a punk-melody inspired by the movie Mad Max. It was actually amazing to hear with the big orchestra. I loved it when it in the end has a long quiet section - a pause. It was completely quiet in the audience, and then... booom!!! it continues!

EuropeCrazy said...

I think I read somewhere that P4 had recorded the concert from 15.11.08 but maybe they recorded another one and just put them together.

It's funny that Salem forgot the lyrics - but two versions of "Good Song" are better than one aren't they :)))

I would have liked to have heard "No Woman No Cry" too.

Kajsa - thanks for the info, I wish they had broadcast "Tell Me" as it's one of my favourites. Glad I got the title of "Purple Lady" correct too.

Thanks for translating Salem's introduction to "Damien and Bob" - I heard him mention punk and Mad Max but I couldn't understand the rest of it, so...thanks again!!