Norwegian; good

I’ve finally bought a copy of Siamese Dream, a mere 24 and a half years after it was released. I’d forgotten how exhilarating the start to Cherub Rock is. Talking of absolute joy, Strangers by the Norwegian singer Sigrid is the best thing I have seen, heard and – yes – read in ages…

Just like in the movies
It starts to rain and we…
We’re the broken beauties
Blindfolded minds collide
And we fall
When the curtain drops
Our touch is just a touch
Not like in the movies
Our story’s after the end
Like strangers
Perfect pretenders
We’re falling head over heels
For something that it ain’t real
It could never be us…

Written in a foreign language over a beautiful melody and, for the chorus, a glorious beat. It all sounds so happy, yet look at those lyrics! ‘Broken beauties’, ‘our touch is just a touch’, ‘our story’s after the end’… I love that last one: how to succinctly sum up the messiness and incompleteness of life. But if you watch the video, you’ll see someone dancing around a studio like they’ve just won the lottery. The video so cleverly echoes the ‘perfect pretending’ concept of the song by showing the crew and assorted film paraphernalia and one particularly mesmerising shot at 2:37 of Sigrid pretending to film someone who is presumably pretending to film the made-up house that Sigrid was in earlier in the video.* It should be irritatingly self-referential, but the lyrics require it and it’s so well put together, it could be in the movies: Krzysztof Kieslowski and Roy Andersson would be proud.

Apparently, ‘every few years a debate breaks out about poetry and pop’.** But surely pop wins every time? Sigrid wins for her lyrics and because she makes me want to dance – and what’s better than dancing? The opening to Cherub Rock sets my cheeks and back alight…and there are no words! Just sonic bliss. ‘Just’? Give me 20 seconds of sonic bliss over shelves of poetry.

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIriwVhRPVA Sigrid – Strangers

**https://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/private/the-light-fandango/

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