The Roxette Gazette

A winning combination

ArticleBosse Nilsson • Unidentified Newspaper •

Note: This has been translated from the original Swedish.

ROXETTE: Pearls of Passion (EMI).

Take one of Sweden’s most prominent songwriters, Per Gessle from Halmstad, then take a small gunpowder package like Marie Fredriksson from Östra Ljungby, shake and mix, and you get Roxette, one of the funniest things to happen to Swedish popular music in a long time. Per and Marie called their collaboration a hobby group, but I think we’ll shed that label right away. I think we’ll rip that label off immediately. This is a winning formula.

The two voices complement each other in an almost unbelievable way, Gessle’s hoarse voice and Marie’s strong and crystal clear. “Surrender” is a fine example of just that: a quiet song but with immense tension. By the way, why does Annie Lennox come to mind when I hear Marie Fredriksson? Well. “Neverending Love” is on the LP, of course. It was a big summer hit, and that’s how it started and continued. One single simply wasn’t enough and many of us are grateful for that.

Gessle also shows his power, especially in “Call of the Wild,” a shuddering raspiness. The coherence comes back in “From One Heart to Another,” two voices that are destined to work together, a sonic blast followed by a slap in the face, “Like Lovers Do,” where Marie Fredriksson’s voice really hits the ceiling. It’s probably the best song on the album, in stiff competition with “So Far Away” and the mellow “Soul Deep.”

Of course, there’s also a whole bunch of pluses for arranger and producer Clarence Öfwerman. He shows here his ability to properly use song material as raw resources.

Roxette is a Scanian-Hallandian union that works like a charm. The Fredriksson-Gessle couple have all the hallmarks of being the next big Swedish export item. We have only experienced the beginning.