23 Nov 2005

P, C & C rockin' the plumber's crack (IV): Son of a Plumber released today

LJdM wants to review the new album of Per Gessle with Clarence Öfwerman and Christoffer Lundquist. P, C & C team rocks again. "Son of a Plumber" is made with the same musicians as Per Gessle’s Swedish album “Mazarin,” but now in English and as a double-CD. Per Gessle wanted this album to feel like an old-time LP where you had to switch the side in the middle. With 2 CDs, it brings the vinyl experience back a bit. And we really enjoy it!

LP 1:
1. Drowning In Wonderful Thoughts About Her

LJdM: Hurry yea! This wonderful album starter begins the travel to the late '60s and early '70s. And it's alright! Very positive lyrics although "to kick the cryin’ has taken forever".

2. Jo-Anna Says

Per Gessle: "It’s a sort of a McCartney-song. We’ve had long discussions about what to really think about him. I’m more of a Lennon man myself, but like his early solo stuff."
LJdM: Catchy single. Very McCartney and the Beatles. Yes, Gessle is not "like the other guys". And the lyrics are sad and funny at the same time.

3. I Have A Party In My Head (I Hope It Never Ends)

Per Gessle: “My favorite from the album. It turned out just the way I imagined it. It feels very special.”
LJdM: Pleasantly surprised. Someone called this song "neo-folk music". Is it Gessle? Wow! Maybe too much time listening to Simon and Garfunkel then! This is our favourite as well. We wanna come by and hope the party never ends.

4. C’mon

Per Gessle: "You can’t tell it’s me. So people can get a feel for it, regardless of their relationship to me. I sing in falsetto for the first time. It happened that way when I wrote it… and it was fun to sing it that way."
LJdM: We are looking for the 'lite'. No, we can't tell it's Per Gessle singing. Not one of our favourite, although we love the rythmic melody.

5. Week With Four Thursdays

LJdM: The first instrumental, ambient music with nice '70s keyboards. It seems the soundtrack of a film.

6. Hey Mr DJ (Won’t You Play Another Love Song)

Per Gessle: “A country pastiche. Sounds like Chicago, no? These songs very easily turn into parodies and we were in bad shape for a while there, but I think we got through it. It sounds very lovely. Well, I just wanted to write an old-fashioned country song for Helena and me. I never expected Clare & Chris to like it but they really did… I was so surprised. And, of course, it turned out to be one my fave songs on the album.”
LJdM: No DJ here. We love the beginning with only Helena singing. An absolutely brilliant country ballad or a wonderful Burt Bacharach duet? Helena Josefsson an Per Gessle's voices go together and complete each other so perfectly. Some TDR editors call this "one of the best duets Per has written ever". At least, we believe in every word Gessle and Josefsson laid on us.

7. Late, Later On

LJdM: We got lucky to meet this song. Acoustic instuments and beautiful lyrics. Another young love story.

8. Ronnie Lane

LJdM: The second instrumental on the album, with Helena's voice as one of the instruments. It could suit a film very well.

The Junior Suite (9-13):
9. Are You An Old Hippie, Sir?

LJdM: Happy, stupid lyrics. Just the way we love it. Yes, we think Gessle is the old hippie he sings about. We can listen to the nice ba-da-ba-ba-ba theme that runs through the entire album.

10. Double-headed Elvis

LJdM: A strange falsetto blues. Don't ask us about the meaning of the lyrics. Who knows!

11. Something In The System

PG: "“Something in the system” was a slight mistake so I didn’t want to use it at all. I recorded it at Tit&Ass in Januray 2002 for Roxette. I never really liked it, dunno why. But when the medley-idea came up (I guess it was Clarence’ brilliant brain at work!!) I thought it would fit quite well. Shorter, more in-your-face, like a nice little bridge between “Double-headed Elvis” and “Speed boat to Cuba”. This is how it sounded when it was born."
LJdM: It was written for Roxette but P, C & C got to give the sound of the 60's to it. And now it's inside our mind too.

12. Speed Boat To Cuba

LJdM: Jo-Anna is back and tells him that he's still not the one. Speed kills in this rocker song. The main theme is back at the end, a very nice touch like all the production.

13. Come Back Tomorrow (And We Do It Again)

LJdM: It's a remake of Gyllene Tider’s old bonus track from “Puls” - “Bara vara nära" ... 23 years ago! Modern arragement for closing the first half of an album.

LP 2:
1. Kurt - The Fastest Plumber In The West

Per Gessle: “An instrumental, with film score touches. It’s a little spaghetti western-ish. And Kurt, the plumber, that’s of course my dad. Thought he needed a tune.”
LJdM: Wow! We remember Sergio Leone's spaghetti western films. Kurt was Gessle's father.

2. I Never Quite Got Over The Fact That The Beatles Broke Up

LJdM: We didn't get it either. Per and Helena sing in circles around each other. No real chorus in this one, but it’s got a beautiful airy sound to it.

3. Substitute (For The Real Deal)

LJdM: It should be a substitute for "C'mon" as real single. Great music. It is Gyllene-Tider-and-Tom Petty-Per.

4. Waltz For Woody

Per Gessle: “Another instrumental, dedicated to Åsa. She’s called Woody. I really don’t know why. It’s just the way it is.”
LJdM: One of the few pieces Per plays the keyboards. Lovely!

5. Carousel

LJdM: History repeat itself at the beginning with Per and Helena voices. According to Visa from TDR, "you can hear the touch of Christoffer Lundquist on this one as well. I could swear the sound of the seagulls on the background is the same sample as in “High” by Brainpool". After a song like this, you can go home and listen to it again.

6. I Like It Like That

Per Gessle: “The strongest chorus on the album. Maybe it is the one that sounds the most like ’classical’ Gessle. I started working on “I like it like that” with some, quite annoying, drum-loop in mind. It all put me in a somewhat bad mood. Drum-grooves usually do! However I really adored the song and did an acoustic version the very same day at the Tits&Ass studio in January 2002 (it was made for Roxette). Here it is! I think I’ve changed the lyrics a bit along the way."
LJdM: The song makes you feel in love. This is Roxette-Per in a mid-tempo power pop ballad. A happy lovesong with one of the most beautiful phrases: "To be with you is all I have, all I am".

7. Something Happened Today

LJdM: Very personal, straight-to-the-heart song, almost entirely acoustic with an organ in the backgound. It's a big song because it's small at the same time. As Visa from TDR says, we can imagine "Per and Helena sitting by the fire, Per playing his guitar and Helena singing like an angel, far away from any worries." After SOAP, Gessle will never sound the same again.

8. Brilliant Career

LJdM: More tea anyone? Yes, please, with lots of sugar. Sweet song. Very simple lyrics that keep repeating over and over in an airy beatiful melody.

9. Burned Out Heart

LJdM: I deal with it the best I can. Gessle could be thinking about Pink Floyd.

10. Drowning In Wonderful Thoughts About Her (Reprise)

LJdM: Back to the beginning! Just like The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper the album starts and ends with a reprise of the same song. More wonderful thoughts abut her in a traffic jam.

11. Making Love Or Expecting Rain

LJdM: Finally, a Bob Dylan quote and Per en Français. Childhood memories to tell to your lover. It's time for candles and wine.

(12-hidden track) Jo-Anna Says Farewell

LJdM: Just a pun of an old Gessle song “Jo-Anna farväl” which was released by Gyllene Tider under the name Pers Garage back in 1989. It scares you a bit after almost ten minutes of silence on the last track.

(13-LP bonus trak) Keep The Radio On (This Is The Perfect Song)
Per Gessle: “The song itself was written for Gyllene Tider back in 1980 (called ’Gå hem innan du lägger dej’ which means something like ’Go Home Before You Go to Bed’…) but GT never used it. Mainly because of the terrible Swedish lyrics if I remember the history right. However, it was recorded by the Lonely Boys for the LB album but I’m sure y’all heard that! And just recently it became rejected once more when we mixed the SOAP album. That version didn’t really make me tick!”
LJdM: Very Buddy Holly. It is taken from “The Lonely Boys”’ album from 1995, and it’s been re-recorded with slightly, insignificant, changes to the lyrics. It is a nice song but it doesn’t fit the album.

Yes, Son of a Plumber is much more and better than just Per Gessle. The die-hard Roxette fan probably will not love the concept of this album, this is not for sure what they expected. Gessle and C & C are back to their roots with the vocals of a "childish girl", Helena. Helena Josefsson sings here better than ever.

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