Sofia Loell is someone I had never heard of until about a month ago. I think I was looking at something on iTunes when she was recommended to me, and I loved the clips. Amazon.com has her album (which appears to be her only American release, at least) for $5.95, but in limited quantities. Right Up Your Face was released in 2002 by Curb Records, and sank without a trace...as a pop fan, I had absolutely no recollection of her whatsoever. Last year she released a single in Scandinavia called "Unfreeze Me", but from what i've heard, it isn't as good as this album. This year she released another European single called "War of Life", which I haven't heard and am therefore assuming isn't a modified Billie Piper cover. :P
She's Swedish! That pretty much means she has to make good pop as a rule, I guess. This is slightly more "roots-based" pop in the sense that they are mostly based on actual instruments, and at times both the music and vocals sound slightly Irish in character. She wrote all the songs on the album, most by hersle.f Her English lyrics are a bit awkward some of the time (as in the "hit" spotlighted by the album cover sticker, "Right Up Your Face"), but I think she has a good way around a melody. If you're into the Corrs' poppier moments, you'd probably like this CD, but if you don't, it's still good. Most songs are relentlessly happy-sounding, even when the lyrics aren't.
Utopia - Apparently this was a single somewhere, because I saw a single cover. It starts out slow, and then speeds up to chug along on an upbeat pop-rock track. The horn effects are great. There is only one ballad on the album, and this isn't it. Lover Undercover - On an album of upbeat songs, this is one of the most boppy ones of all. It's quirky, and I like quirk! Will You Move On (Heaven's Not Enough) - An even more fast-paced track, like an Avril Lavigne (who debuted around the same time) with a sweeter vocal sound. The lyrics are completely worthy of any of the current 'independent' pop/rock chicks, saying that although the guy in question is nice, she needs to be alone to find herself. Somebody Else - This has bells in it! It's like really good 1998 Eurovision. I don't know a lot of Eurovision songs, but it gives me the vibe that i've heard about. This also has a great melody, and like many songs on this album it especially hearkens back to Abba somewhat, combined with the guitar sound. Right Up Your Face - The only U.S. single to promote the album, i'm assuming. This is the best song to get a peek of her unusual wordplay, telling a guy to go away, "right up your face". Hmm. The song itself is pretty catchy, and more of a "typical" Michelle Branch-esque sound, but the words (and a lack of payola $$$) probably killed it.
On another note, why the hell does Nick Lachey have a VH1 Behind the Music show?! I remember when they only did those for either legends, or infamous disasters like Milli Vanilli ("Blame It On the Rain" kicked ass). The 98 Degrees stuff is interesting, though; about how they went from r&b to pop music when the former wasn't selling. It got us "The Hardest Thing", so it wasn't that bad.
I'm not sure what the hell is up with the Bananarama songs, because it seems as if every time I rip them they're skipping and crap. I'll try to get them up again, ok?