A Sweet Summer's Night on YouTube: An Incomplete Survey of Swedish Music Videos (Pt. II of III)

For those of you that don't like The Knife, hopefully you'll find some good stuff here. In fact, I know you will.

A few years ago, when the Concretes came out with "You Can't Hurry Love", I was sure it was going to be one of those breakout pop hits in the mode of the Cardigans' "Lovefool" or Sixpence None The Richer's "Kiss Me". Alas, I was wrong. Still, it's a nice catchy pop tune.

While the Concretes' video seems to make it even more destined for pop success, Robyn's video for "Be Mine" makes it clear why the song never achieved mainstream airplay. Rather than pick up on the emo-romanticism, the video goes for the uber-depression inherent in the lyrics. The video's scariness provides an odd juxtapostion with the poppiness of the song itself. See for yourself.

In contrast to the pixiness of Robyn and the Concretes, the two videos below come from the recent wave of sensitive-male-singer-songwriters. "Hand on Your Heart" from Jose Gonzalez is sure to make a lot of women swoon. Jens Lekman's "You Are The Light" may also make women swoon, but perhaps a different type of women. (Note: While "You Are the Light" is not one of Lekman's better songs, it is the only video of his easily available on the internet. The song that inspired this survey's title is available, albeit in live form.)

The Hives are probably the most prominent of the new wave of Swedish alt-rock. But I don't really like them, so they're not included here. Instead, there's a few Hives-like groups that are about equally good/bad. First is The (International) Noise Conspiracy's "Up For Sale". The song is pretty weak, but the video is not without merit.

Here's more of the same, "Need to Get Some" from Division of Laura Lee. Feel free to skip over. This basically sucks, although there are some cool puppet pandas.

You'd think an all girl Swedish rock band would pretty much kick all asses around, right? Well, sort of, although it doesn't really work as well as you'd like it to. Still, any video that opens with a shot of an armadillo is a winner in my book. Here's "Hot Night Crash" from Sahara Hotnights.

The best of the new Swedish rock n' roll bands, Love Is All, only has one video and it's not available on YouTube. However, you can get it here. It's a pretty weak video, but it's their first and they're worth a listen.

Popular or Shitty or Both?
As a general matter, I tend to not trust European mainstream pop music. These next three provide no reason for me to think differently.

First - Darin Zanyar's "Want Ya". A completely useless piece of pop drivel which Stylus said "put(s) Usher to shame." Funny, I don't remember Usher sucking this bad or being this white.

Former M2M member Marit Larsen appears to be Sweden's answer to Michelle Branch, so some of you may love this shit. "Don't Save Me" was a huge hit in Europe.

Finally, Robyn butchers just about everything imaginable in this medley that begins with "Buffalo Stance" and concludes with her own trashy-but-enjoyable single "Konichiwa Bitches"

Continue to Part III for the piece de resistance, The Classics.

Or go back to Part I if you just need some more of The Knife.

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