Posts Tagged ‘Alexander Rybak’

Charley says LIST! Benelux Biebers (Part 2) Ralf Mackenbach

June 1, 2011

Perhaps it’s a little unfair to describe Ralf Mackenbach as the Dutch Bieber. It was a couple of months before Justin finally managed a spot in the top regions of the Dutch charts that Ralf was already going top 10.

A year before the likes of Tom Dice and Lena proved that Western Europe can still do well at Eurovision, Ralf sang the Netherlands to victory at the 2009 Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

His pop song ‘Click Clack‘, including no less than a tap break, beat the likes of Belgian yodelpop-singer Laura Omloop and Molly Sandén’s sister Mimmi. No small feat, considering the former went on to become one of Belgium’s best loved child stars and the latter had a song co-written by Alexander Kronlund of ‘If U Seek Amy’ and ‘Till The World Ends’ fame.

A couple of kiddy pop singles followed and when those did the job as well, Ralf started working on an album. This would include all singles, a medley, some tracks in Dutch, some in English and even a cover of the 2009 adult Eurovision winner ‘Fairytale’.

For the album’s lead single Ralf enlisted the creative talent of Future Presidents. This producers collective has some brilliant pop tunes to its name, having worked with the likes of Kim-Lian, Belgian X Factor alums Lester & Abdou and The Netherlands’ most underrated pop princess, EliZe. With ‘The Only One‘ Future Presidents wrote Ralf his very own ‘Baby’.

My favourite song of the album, however, is ‘Piano & Guitar‘. The minimalistic rocky beat reminds me of Roxane’s ill-fated ‘Better Part Of Me’ single and lyrically it’s the male, English language counterpart to ‘Ik Heb Je Gewist‘ by Kus.

Ralf tells how he removed you from his hard drive, erased you from his phone and how every letter that you ever sent, he gave them to the garbage man. However, he says: “But I can’t erase you from my head and I can’t erase you from my heart”.

Even if it is the seventh video of the album, I’m glad ‘Piano & Guitar‘ got the single treatment. I like it way too much for it to have remained just an album track.

Now, the album’s gone gold, it got into the Dutch top 10 and Ralf’s recent success on Dancing On Ice made him better known outside of the teen pop audience, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that album number two is currently in the works.

I’ll be sure to keep you posted and until then, here’s a little preview of what’s to come!

Update 08.04.2012:

Since writing this post Ralf has released his second album ‘Moving On’, which was lead by the single ‘Dance‘ and contained ‘Vandaag Is Het Feest‘ which got one of those “one take walk through an entire building” videos.

‘Ralf’ by Ralf is available on Spotify and iTunes.
‘Moving On’ by Ralf is available on Spotify and iTunes.

See also: Charley says LIST! Benelux Biebers (Part 1) Ian Thomas

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Charley says WEEK! 2010.26

July 6, 2010

Things have been a little crazy here, so what better way to get this site back into swing than with Katerine Avgoustakis making a great song even more amazing?

The Charley says POP! favourite joined French singer Grégoire Boissenot on stage at the Greek MAD Awards for a special Greek and French (Grench? Freek?) version of his hit ‘Toi + Moi’.

Grégoire is an artist who got to release music through My Major Company, a website which lets fans invest in the making of their favourite artists’ music. You can compare it to Sellaband, the site through which Dutch singer Hind collected funds for her new CD.

Charley says INTERVIEW! Susanna Kay
[http://tinyurl.com/2epg3c4]

Charley says INTERVIEW! Susanna Kay (Part 2)
[http://tinyurl.com/2vtvrs8]

Charley says COVER! I’m In Love
[http://tinyurl.com/2udke8l]

Charley says ARTIST! Jo Hens
[http://tinyurl.com/38q5p9g]

Charley says SONG! Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten (Johnny Vicious Remix)
[http://tinyurl.com/34go4be]

Charley says ARTIST! Linus (Tom Olaerts)
[http://tinyurl.com/2v97wbw]

Charley says GUEST BLOG! The Pipettes say POP!
[http://tinyurl.com/34xvarh]

Charley says COVER! I’m In Love

June 29, 2010

When listening to 2009 Eurovision winner Alexander Rybak’s new album ‘No Boundaries’ you might stumble upon a song that sounds familiar.

Most of you may know ‘I’m In Love’ as a Fabrizio Faniello track. The Maltese 2001 Eurovision entry had a bit of an international hit with the song  in 2004.

However, the original and my personal favourite version was done by John The Whistler all the way back in 2000. The man behind this project was Umberto Carli. He was born in Africa and apparently moved to Belgium at one point. An album called ‘It’s Crazy’ was released, but ‘I’m In Love’ seems to be his only big hit. The most recent thing I could find on him was a participation at Cyprus’ 2006 national Eurovision final.

Alexander Rybak’s version strangely leaves out the whistling, replacing it with some female backing vocals. I’m not particularly fond of his version, although that could also be because I’m still trying to figure out whether I think his ‘Oah‘ video is unnervingly incredible or just incredibly unnerving.