Per Gessle, who is best known as being the primary songwriting force behind Roxette, released a brand new solo album in Europe at the end of 2008 called, “Party Crasher.” This is his first English language solo album since his 2005 experimental solo album released under the artist name “Son Of A Plumber.” Prior to the “Son Of A Plumber” album, Per Gessle’s last English solo album was 1997’s “The World According to Gessle.”
I recently added the new “Party Crasher” album to my collection and while I was uploading it to my iPod, I was struck with a sense of nostalgia as I was thinking about how long music written by Per Gessle has been a part of my life. With 2009 being a significant year in that it has been 20 years since I got my very first Roxette album, the “Look Sharp!” album. I had to smile because my first Roxette album was bought for me, and I didn’t honestly want it. My mother bought it on the recommendation of my brother as something he thought I would like, and I rudely said that I didn’t want it, but my mother insisted I try it, and it ended up being such a good album that I played it to death. I loved the album so much that when Roxette’s next album, “Joyride” was released I was both excited about it’s release but really scared that I might not like it as much as the first.
Well I loved the “Joyride” album even more than “Look Sharp!” and I have followed Roxette as well as the solo careers of both Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson in both English and Swedish ever since that fateful day in 1989. This has been no easy feat as very little of my Roxette collection consists of US released versions of the albums. I’ve imported the bulk of my collection due to the US labels not releasing the albums or releasing them considerably later than the European labels that I was unwilling to wait so long. As well known as I am for being an ABBA fan, I am actually a bigger fan of Roxette as they were my first favorite Swedish band. I didn’t really get into ABBA until Roxette went into hiatus status following 1994’s “Crash! Boom! Bang!” album.
I can’t explain why I have connected so much with the music of Per Gessle, but his song writing has the unusual ability for me to buy an album and know I’m going to like almost every single song on the album. Its not unusual to like a song here and there from an artist or group, but when you can love 80-95% of a single artist’s album, it’s very unusual. It’s a very short list of artists I can say that about, and Per Gessle is always near the top of that list.
The new album feels like a visit with an old friend, even though the songs are new, the style of the songs have a great sense of familiarity. My favorite song from the bunch is “The Party Pleaser” which feels a bit reminiscent of Amii Stewart’s “Knock On Wood.” Other favorites from the album are “Kissing Is The Key”, “Silly Really”, “Sing Along”, “Gut Feeling”, “Perfect Excuse”, and “I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On.” The remaining songs on the album are good too, but they only got a 4 star rating on my iPod. This album is likely to be a good contender for my favorite album of 2009.
My only complaint about the album is that remixes for singles so far have only been released digitally, and I don’t live in a territory where I can purchase the downloads. If any Europeans are willing to help me, please leave a comment below as I would love to get the remixes.
If you’d like to get a copy of the album for your collection, I’ve found the best price for US residents is to go through CD-WOW. The price includes shipping and handling. Click here to access CD-WOW.