While the UK and USA music industries didn't give us a lot to cheer about, the world of pop was kept going thanks largely to Swedish songwriters and producers (Max Martin/Maratone, Dr Luke) as well as the 2007 Melodifestivalen and Eurovision song contests.
Here's my Top 7 Songs of 2007 (admittedly a little late, but true to form ;-)* Duran Duran - Falling Down
The original four members (minus Andy Taylor again) return with their "Ordinary World" for 2007. The band co-wrote and co-produced the track with Justin Timberlake, who also sings backing vocals on the song.
A great mid-tempo ballad, in the style Duran Duran are famous for, but unfortunately this did not set the charts alight as it deserved to...* Sugababes - About You Now
Fresh from promoting their greatest hits album (following the departure of Mutya Buena), the new Sugababes trio returned to the studio to record the "franchise's" 5th studio album, Change
This song was rightly picked as the album's lead single, and was a worldwide smash hit for the trio. Written by hitmakers Cathy Dennis and Dr Luke, website PopJustice
described the song as a "pop-electro-rock masterpiece"...* Magnus Carlsson - Live Forever
This "eighties inspired electropop dance song" was performed by Carlsson in the third heat of Melodifestivalen 2007, but unfortunately it didn't qualify for the final.
The former singer with Swedish groups Alcazar and Barbados went on to release the song as a single in March, reaching #3 on the Swedish charts and going Gold...* Shayne Ward - If That's OK With You
Written by Swedish music genius Max Martin, with Savan Kotecha and Arnthor Birgisson, this change in style was a bit hit for Shayne Ward. However, the song was criticised by some for the use of a vocoder, and the quirky lyrics. (My favourite line, "I'm going to saint your mother just for giving you birth"
Unfortunately manager Louis Walsh and label boss Simon Cowell wrongly felt the song wasn't strong enough as a comeback single for The X Factor
winner, and ordered him back to Sweden at the last minute to record another song (the bland No U Hang Up
) to release as a double-A side.* E-Type - True Believer
Swedish eurodance artist E-Type returned with his 6th studio album, featuring new female vocalist Sanne Karlsson (replacing NaNa). The true-to-form stomping lead single was written by E-Type with talented new songwriter Savan Kotecha at Maratone Studios, and produced by Max Martin.* Take That - Shine
The Manchester lads (still minus Robbie) followed up their comeback smash hit 'Patience' with this catchy upbeat little track, sung by little Mark Owen (rather than regular lead singer Gary Barlow).
Described as a cross between the Beatles and ELO, the single was Take That's 6th consecutive #1 in the UK. The video recreates the style of a Busby Berkeley musical number (famous movie director and musical choreographer in the 30s/40s)...* Markoolio & Linda Bengtzing - Värsta Schlagern
Swedish comedian Markoolio teams up with Swedish Europop (and schlager) singer Linda Bengtzing for this great pop parody. Apparently entered in the 2007 Melodifestivalen contest, somehow it wasn't picked as one of the finalists, although the single did go on to hit #1 on the Swedish charts.Värsta Schlagern
pokes fun at the formulaic style of many Eurovision schlagar songs. The lyrics point out the importance of a catchy chorus, stealing a bit of Abba's sound, and the obligatory key change ;-) The video also spoofs famous Swedish Melodifestivalen performers, including Carola (and her wind machine!), Alexander Bard, BWO, and Thomas G:son...Honorable mentions to:
* Linkin Park - What I've Done
* Take That - Rule the World (from the film Stardust
* Mans Zelmerlow - Cara Mia
* Avril Lavigne - Keep Holding On