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So to accompany the decade polling fun, I decided to bring back Hitz from Finland for a special edition! (It's obv too late for the currently polling year, but rest assured I will use future volumes to ahem canvas for votes, as it were. Muahaha!)

2000 was my last year of paying almost no attention to pop/radio/the charts/etc, so this is a bit more meagre than future editions are likely to be; retrospective research tells me, though, that 2000 was particularly marked by an absolute EXPLOSION of domestic hip hop in the charts. (The culprits behind this occurrance are, of course, represented in the listing below.)

8x hitz of 2000 under the cut )
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One for the emo* crowd: Disco Ensemble, the (mini-)Primer.

I really had several other themes slated to post before this one, but it got bumped up the queue because I finally heard the second single off Magic Recoveries the other week, and OH MY GOD.

If they'd made this the lead single instead of Bad Luck Charm, I wouldn't have taken two months to get the album, is all I say, ahaha. (Totes candidate for one of the singles of the year!)

That said, let's get digging into some history:

Primer-y stuff below )

*) Disclaimer: only call these guys emo if you want to watch Proper Fans have conniptions, haha. (Which I grant has its uses wrt entertainment value!) They def cross over to the emo demographic, though.
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Theme for the day: never mind the music, let's have some TOTALLY AWESOME VIDEOS.

Some of these are fresh, some old standbys, some inbetween; they're all well worth a watch, either way. (And a listen, as well!)

Retropop: Pieni ja ihmeellinen )

Kwan: Tainted Love (no, not that Tainted Love) )

Jonna Tervomaa: Lapikulkumatkalla )

1N: Tuulee )

Jori Hulkkonen feat. Jerry Valuri: Lo-Fiction )

Pariisin Kevat: Pikku Huopalahti )

Bonus: the classic video for DJ Slow's (I'm Over You) Pablo was not up on YouTube back when I posted it in this series, but it is now! Check it out.
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This time: Fresh Fennobosh!

Waldo's People: Back Again

(Already kindof-posted in the previous volume's chart snapshot)
Rubbish white boy rapping in poor english combined with awesome, hooktastic female-voiced belting from having-a-comeback 90s smash hit. Currently topping at least three charts that I know of (the official singles chart included).

Kendi - Connected

The theme of dodgy rapping/grebt melodic vocal combos continues, in a more modern guise.
Electrohousey number from a brand new act consisting of veteran knobtwiddler JS16 and hip-hop lass Yavis, with a little vocal help from a Vince Jackson. Getting increasingly intensive play on our premiere top 40 station.

DCX - Meet This Day (live clip)

So fresh it hasn't even been released yet! This lot are generally a bit too retro/melodically simplistic for my taste, but this one is awesome! Stomping marching rhythm, chorus that's ridiculously catchy for something so monotonous, and the E-Type-alike guy vocals aren't as annoying as the real thing. Looking forward to the release proper on this one!
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Something a bit different this time because I'm too lazy to put together anything meatier at present: as a snapshot of Finnish pop Right Now, I give you Things Wot Have Been in the Official Download Chart* (re-entries excluded) in the Last Month. Consider it a Year in Pop clone! (Just without the poll, heh.)

Some of these I've previously posted/linked (inevitably), and anyone who watched eurovision will know the first one innit:

Teräsbetoni - Missä miehet ratsastaa
Waldo's People - Back Again
Cheek - Liekeissä
Chisu - Mun koti ei oo täällä
Mariko - Unstoppable
Kinetik Control - Lack of Divine Inspiration
Beats and Styles feat. Elastinen - You Got the Light
Lauri Tähkä ja Elonkerjuu - Pauhaava sydän
Ari Koivunen - Give Me a Reason
Jenni Vartiainen - Mustaa kahvia
Brother Firetribe - Heart Full of Fire
Voltage - Coffee Break
Stella - Korkokengät
Clifton Sextet - Nopeus kasvaa
Negative - Won't Let Go
Tiktak - Mutta mä rakastan sua
Jenni Vartiainen - Ihmisten edessä
Disco Ensemble - Bad Luck Charm
Herra Ylppö & Ihmiset - Sata vuotta
XL5 feat. Elastinen - Laatuaikaa

Discuss at will! (I leave any opinions of my own to the comments section because, again: lazy so's to leave perceptions uncoloured.)

*) the download chart because I find it more representative of what's really making noise than the proper singles chart
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An anecdote sort of apropos the impending Eurovision: Beats and Styles (who were mentioned in passing in vol. 8b) participated in last year's Finnish preselection with these two songs:

2 x youtube embeds )

For some utterly inexplicable reason, the former track beat out the latter for the spot in the final; I'd not watched that particular heat live, and so only heard the latter track after the fact. My first reaction -- after "wait, HOW did this one not go through over the other??", obv -- was "wow, this could make a MASSIVE summer jam. They should totally release it as a single in time for the summer!"

Apparently, I have powers of psychic influence (either that or just good music biz sense, haha), because they did!

And it was (a hit*). Powers of psychic influence FTW!

*) well, 'hit' as in the non-charting type, but it didn't lack for airplay, anyrate!


In the name of a good segue I also give you their latest single; it's nice but nothing special, and while the video is kinda cool it's only kinda cool:

The point of posting it, see, being the Featuring ie mr. Elastinen (who should really stick to rapping in Finnish, ahahaha). The gentleman in question is a veteran of classic rap group Fintelligens, and a couple of years ago he had this hit off his second solo record:

(Or as I immediately dubbed it, Finnish Rap Discovers Maximalism Two Years After the Rest of the World's Gotten Over It. Quite smashing a specimen of hip hop maximalism, though!)
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Just a quick one this week, to highlight a brand spanking new single:

Chisu broke through massively earlier in the year with previous single Mun koti ei oo täällä; although I do in general like that one well enough, it's a bit too OTT with the melodrama to have really grabbed me. Her new single, though -- omg, her new single.

The heart-monitor synth blips! The Kate Bush-esque vocal swoops! The sheer ethereality of the whole thing. I wouldn't have considered buying her album off the first single, but after hearing this one...seriously thinking about it now.


Also, in a brief hark-back to a previous volume, Stella's latest single now has a video!:

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This week: Kemopetrol! I confess: I'm giving them a primer not because of any exceptional impact on the Finnish pop landscape -- tbh they are starting to be somewhat of a fading star, the height of their success and popularity having been early in their career -- but because of HUGE FLAMING BIAS. They're my favourite, you guys! (Well, okay, not quite. But they're in the top 5 [of domestic artists], anyway!)

And because I'm just that biased, this is Part 1 of 2:

The Singles )


Hopefully tomorrow, locked pt 2, in which I really let the bias run wild. :D
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I feel there's been a bit of a gender bias to these posts so far, so this week I am going to alienate a portion of the poptimist audience and do BOYS WITH GUITARS. (Nb these all run towards the emoish/pop-punky side of boyswithguitarness, so... at least you're spared the nindie type thereof?)

Smak - Hallanvaara (2004)
The only uploads of the official video on youtube are embed-disabled, but here's an embeddable live version for the lazy:

It's essentially a waltzy power-ballad lullaby! With STRINGS and MELODRAMA! It is also really, really pretty. (Second single from debut album "Sic Transit".)

51 Koodia - Kahleet (2005)

Loud and riffy but most importantly HOOKY AS HELL. That chorus! Quite, quite awesome, if you like that sort of thing.

(Was the lead single for their second album, but really rose to prominence as a result of its inclusion on a movie soundtrack.)

Ripsipiirakka - Ota mut (2003)

Okay, okay, I know ska-punk covers of 80s pop hits is like the oldest hat there is, but this (mind my bias) is a really exceptional example! :D It's all lively and honestly engaging, and kinda poptastic! It also follows the old, old Finnish pop tradition of (often very, very loosely translated) Finnish-language versions of foreign hits, which somehow makes it even more win++. (From a themed covers ep of the same title.)


Next week volume will be another primer; to that end, a teaser:

cut )
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This is actually vols 6 and 7, but since I was too busy/distracted to get the first one out in a timely manner (and the two are connected anyway), I may as well combine them.

Cut for too many youtube-embeds )
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(I was planning not to post this until later in the week, but hell, I wrote it up, why bother to sit on it, eh?)

This will be a long one! Might want to stock up on snacks and beverages before diving in.

Paula Vesala and Mira Luoti met through our first edition of Popstars in 2002, and hit it off so well they afterwards started a band together. They made quite an explosive entrance onto the Finnish music scene with their raucous debut single Rusketusraidat ("Tan Lines" -- as in UR TAN LINES, SHOW ME THEM), which became 2003's indisputable summer jam and the entire year's bestselling single.

This, obv, was only the beginning.

Attitude, Awards & Questionable Fashion Choices: a PMMP Primer )
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The theme for this week's edition: girls rocking out w/ added costume capers!

Irina: Kymmenen kirosanaa

Phax phile: one of Finland's most popular female artists, sold platinum several times, innumerable hits, etc. Partially owes a debt for her breakthrough to super-popular group Apulanta's frontman Toni Wirtanen, who co-wrote much of her debut album. (Am uncertain as to his involvement in later albums, as have rather failed at the keeping up.)

This one is from 2006, title translates to "ten cursewords"; it's pretty much about loving someone even though they drive you totally up the wall. A sentiment I can get behind! It also has one of the most awesome middle eights EVER.

TikTak: Sankaritar

Phax phile: have been around since '99 and long been one of our premiere girl groups. A couple of albums back they started taking a somewhat rockier bent, and by the last one (which turned out the actual last one, since they broke up late last year) they'd pretty much gone all out in that direction. The above is the lead single off said last album, from 2005; title translates to "heroine" (SEE WHAT THEY DID THERE).
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Here begins an long-planned and longer-flaked out on post series abt POP FROM FINLAND. It's going to be part retrospective and part current hits -- more retrospective, likely, with the amount of ground to cover even if I only keep to millennial pop! (And, y'know, the fact that I only just started listening to Finnish pop radio again after a good two years. What can I say: I suffered from a ridiculously persistent allergy to rock the last several years, and an allergy to rock + Finnish pop radio = bad, bad combination, haha.)

Starting it up is:

Jenni Vartiainen was in Finland's first Popstars band, Gimmel; they broke up a bunch of years ago, and Jenni is the first of the members (to my knowledge) to resurface as a solo artist. She had one of last year's most controversial hits with second single Ihmisten edessä, which ends the opening verse on the line "you're beautiful as always/in your high heels" -- with the inevitable result of huge amounts of is she/isn't she spec and exchange of flames words between the pro- and anti-gay camps. Meanwhile, the song's touched hearts and resonated with unconventional couples of all kinds everywhere, with its theme of courage in the face of social disapproval won through love.

(Author of the track, incidentally, is increasingly prolific hitmaker Teemu Brunila of The Crash, who professes to have been inspired to write the song after seeing a lesbian couple in the street, "walking with their heads bent down".)

The real point of this post is miss Vartiainen's stunning third single, "Toinen", though, in which she's feeling bad about being a lying cheater that cheats on her man. Quite a change of pace, that!

All I have to say is: her VOICE!

December 2014

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