Listening to the new Amy Diamond album is an experience a lot like listening to the most recent Malena Ernman album. Half of it is like listening to the sort of music that she’s always released, and in the other half you can hear her singing a brand new sound! This actually pleases us quite a lot. On the one hand, we loved Amy’s first three albums – made up of non offensive lyrics sang over non offensive backing tracks, but absolutely dripping with insanely catchy melodies. But on the other hand, we’ve been praying for the day to come when Amy finally becomes an electro disco slut! In the musical sense at least!
‘Swings & Roundabouts’ has both. There are the standard Amy Diamond songs that pair comedy sound effect synths with lyrics that steer well clear of Amy ever getting serious with a guy. Previous Amy albums tend to stay away from true love. Holiday romances are touched upon (‘Stay My Baby’), she berates a guy for breaking another girl’s heart (‘Don’t Cry Your Heart Out’), but she never declares her own undying love for a guy. Lyrically, her back catalogue is more about aspirations (‘Life’s What You Make It’), patronising adults (‘Big Guns’), and aliens landing (‘We Could Learn A Lot’)! And this new album has plenty of kiddie friendly pop that will appeal lots to her faithful audience. ‘A Good Day’, ‘Brand New Day’, and ‘Higher Ground’ are the pop fluff of sweet dreams!
Then there is the sound of Amy’s first night out clubbing! Lead single ‘Up’ (which entered the Swedish chart at number 4 this week), ‘Dance Like Nobody’s Watching’, and ‘Fast Forward’ all stay true to Amy’s 100% success record with irresistible melody, but this time put said melody on top of pure electropop synths and beats. Cleverly, ‘Lucky Star’ doesn’t cover or even sample the Madonna song of the same name, but clearly pays homage to it. ‘Crossfire’ has a similar eighties pop sound to it. A lot like ‘So Sixteen’ from her last album. Oh, and of course her Melodifestivalen 2009 entry is on here too. ‘It’s My Life’ still plays like the sound of fairydust coming to life, even six months on!
Finally, there are two grown up ballads on here! Both are heavy on the piano and the strings, and both allow Amy to sound great even though ballads aren’t really her comfort zone at all. ‘Bittersweet’ and ‘Heartbeats’ are arguably two of the strongest songs on the album in fact. And it’s a really strong album at that. Despite being fifteen tracks long, it doesn’t ever feel like it’s too long. There isn’t one song on here that we wouldn’t want to listen to again, and we’re sure that it’ll get as many spins with us as her last albums have. Four studio albums in, and she’s yet to come even close to producing a dud!
In other Amy news, she’s currently one of the seven celebrity guests on Swedish television show Korslaget. In the show, each celebrity has to create and lead a choir of ordinary Swedish people folk, and they compete against each other until there’s one winner. We haven’t been following the show that much, but there is one thing that we’ve seen that is utterly amazing in every way. Remember Amy’s ICONIC performance of ‘Thank You’ at the 2008 Melodifestivalen? All black, gold, and endless energy? Well she’s only gone and made her choir recreate it!