Shock of shocks as it is Dance Love Pop that takes the first hit. Well, kind of. If I Could Build My Whole World Around You was not included on the original release of the album. As far as I can tell, it was only included on the UK release. I don't have a UK copy so I have no idea what this was officially credited as.
Let's talk about Erik Hassle then. Erik is the same age as Agnes, and both were signed to Roxy when Dance Love Pop was released, although curiously, not for his UK releases. It's strange to me as it seems they were on different record labels at the time, so why only release this on the UK version? I digress.
The Guardian described him as a new, younger Robbie from Take That, in a typical Guardian article - check out the part where they say 'we assume this is the single, but we can't bothered to check'.
So as you can probably tell, he failed to break the UK, or Sweden (one #2 album, one #11 single), Denmark or anywhere really. However, he was an uncredited vocalist and a credited writer on Icona Pop's Emergency, so we can post that up in here.
If I was feeling cruel, I could always post the Kikki Danielsson version from Så Mycket Bättre, but am I really that evil?
If I seem dismissive of him, it's because I am. Quite simply, nothing he's ever done has appealed to me, and he's partially responsible for this:
@Music Industry stop making shitty acoustic versions of Robyn Carlsson songs challenge.
If I Could Build My Whole World Around You is a cover of a Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell song, written by some Motown writers and originally released in 1967. It's a song that I am not familiar with at all, so I shall just post it here and hope that nobody notices what I have just said.
As you can see, I wasn't terribly impressed, but was anyone else? Did they tell us?
@berserkboi Told us this:
"Nope! Couldn’t even get through it in full, that man’s voice and arrangement isn’t for me!" - 4.9. Don't think he was a massive fan.
@londonrain is familiar with the original. Ask him questions if you have any:
"This is a perfectly serviceable cover that sounds very underproduced compared to the rest of the album. That’s what happens when you slap an acoustic live performance onto a dance album, I guess." - 6.0
@iheartpoptarts makes a prediction:
"This is gonna hurt the album average, isn’t it?" - 5.0 Spoiler: yes.
@abael sits on a Swiss level of neutrality:
"It’s cute, nothing wrong with it. Does nothing for me though." - 6.0
@DJHazey is scathing once more:
"Oh no, this guy's voice is like the epitome of anti-Hazey and Agnes won't save it because the style of the song is terrible anyway." - 2.0
But let's end with something a little nicer from @danmharrow:
"I love this song, and Erik on it makes it even better. My friend won us tickets to see Erik support Mika at an iTunes London concert way back when, and we skipped Mika’s performance to track down EH and ask him about entering MF, which was a clear and confused why we would even ask no. iTunes published live recordings of some of the tracks, so you hear him say ‘I see that flag’ as he reacted to the Swedish flag we were waving madly, dancing away while surrounded by bored teenagers who’d never heard of him." - 8.0
And Stronger is the next album to lose its first contender, as we dismiss Agnes’ cover of Barry Manilow’s 1981 US top 40 hit.
The song was co-written by Cynthia Weil, who also was the co-writer for such classic songs as The Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” and Dolly Parton’s “Here You Come Again,” while Tom Snow also co-wrote Selena’s “Dreaming Of You” and Deniece Williams’ “Let’s Hear It For The Boy.” So, pedigree and such.
Agnes’ version was produced by Quiz and Larossi, the Swedish duo who would later go on to write and produce for such acts as The Saturdays, Alexandra Burke, and of course, the iconic Melodi Grand Prix 2013 runner-up entry, “Bombo” by Adelén:
Studio version because hot damn was the live version an affront to the ears.
@abael (3) needs a caffeine boost stat: “Sappy, spiritless and sleep-inducing.”
His name is @DJHazey (4) and he has something to say: “If people want to pile on a cover song, here’s the one to do it to. I didn’t know it was a cover myself until I saw that on the wiki page I’m viewing while I rate. To me it was just a boring piano ballad.”
And now please enjoy the following clip as you read the final comments on this entry:
Because we had some real groupthink going on here.