Tag Archives: Max Martin

Max Martin is God…Part 2: The Naughtys?

3 Dec

Read Part 1: The 90’s first!

First of all. I would like to sound off a major gripe I have about growing up between 2000 and 2009. What are they going to call our theme parties? Our music? 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s…Those generations meant something and people are seriously talking about calling us the Naughtys.

Balls.

But I digress…

This post is about the resurgence of our hero, Max Martin. Loyal readers, you may recall how Max Martin went balls deep in the 90’s with his brilliant melodies and choruses with lyrics which always sounded like a Swedish guys interpretation of what an American pop star should be singing.

Through 2000 Max Martin maintained his tight grip around Boy Band/Britney Pop but also demonstrated his rock roots with “It’s My Life” obviously by Bon Jovi.

This song is a excellent showcase of Max Martin’s songs where you can definitely hear his style and sound. When you listen to it lined up with some N’Sync and Britney you realize that Max Martin’s songs would sound great with anyone at vocals.

Although he brought Bon Jovi back from the dead, the early Naughty’s (shit!) were decidedly quite for Mr. Martin. Musicians decided “they were so over it” when it came to boy bands pop completely forgetting there was a reason besides Brian Littrell that some obscure 5 man bands made it huge. The backlash was a bit like Disco Sucks except it was way lamer and we didn’t get punk rock out of it.

During this time Max Martin moved on from Cheiron and started his own studio Maratone and created a new sound that still used the traditional Verse Chorus Verse Chorus Bridge Chorus structure but used far more rock influences. This in part was shaped by a new team including a dude named Shellback with a background in Hardcore.

Hej, Jag Heter Shellback!

A couple years off was healthy as well with a public that was used to hearing a Max Martin jam every third song on the radio.

Then the perfect Max Martin vehicle came along: American Idol. Its almost like it was created as to drive business for him. Every year he had a hot new star with a great voice that had made their name singing other peoples songs. This person wasn’t good at song writing, if they were they wouldn’t have to wait to do American Idol. They were judged on voice, performance and je ne sais quoi to be voted the worlds best karaoke singer. Then they entered the music world with a fat contract and an immediate need for 12-15 songs and 3-4 ones catchy enough to be radio singles.

So in 2004 Kelly Clarkson, the first American Idol winner went to Sweden and got back in touch with Max Martin. He promptly wrote “Since You’ve Been Gone” and “Behind These Hazel Eyes” for her. That just got him going.

From there Martin got back in touch with Britney, the Backstreet Boys and Bon Jovi while powering Pink amd mixing in a little Bo Bice, a little Kelis and some European artists.

Max Martin is now stronger than ever, since 2008 he has written five number 1 hits.

  1. So What-Pink
  2. Hot N Cold-Katy Perry
  3. I Kissed A Girl-Katy Perry
  4. My Life Would Suck Without You-Kelly Clarkson
  5. 3-Britney Spears

Here is a collection of Max Martin from 2001 on. I honestly had to just do highlights because 2009 alone could fill an entire playlist.

More after the jump… Continue reading

Max Martin is god…Part 1: The 90’s

16 Nov
Remember Boy Bands? Britney in a Catholic School Girl Outfit? Ace of Base? The 90’s Synth Pop sound? What if I told you all of the good songs of that ilk from that era were came from a small studio in Kungsholmen, Sweden?
Chieron Studio’s first hit that you would recognize is “All That She Wants” by Ace of Base. To really get them rolling though Max Karl Sandberg left his crappy band “It’s Alive” to become Max Martin. Martin knocked out “Beautiful Life” and Co-Produced the album “The Bridge” for Ace of Base. From there, he went on the most dominant pop song writing run since Michael Jackson/Quincy Jones.
Max Martin har blivit en legend
With the Cheiron team. Martin went on to produce for the Backstreet Boys, N’Sync and Britney among others. Yes you probably made fun of these songs when they came out because you were a 7th grade dude and definitely wanted to protect your 7th grade masculinity by listening to Limp Bizkit and Korn…
Max Martin and Cheiron would write and record the entire song in their studios in Kungsholmen. Then the final stage was the “artist” would fly to Kungsholmen and record the vocals that had been written for them. Britney laid down the vocals for “Oops!…I did it again”  in just von one week in Kungsholmen (I like saying Kungsholmen.)
That wasn’t always simple process either though. Listen to “…Baby One More Time.” Hear the three Britney’s singing backup vocals? Thats because the song was originally written (gender adjusted I’m assuming but Swedes are weird) for the Backstreet Boys.
One element that was certain was Max Martin was involved in everything. In an interview years ago he said:
I want to be part of every note, every single moment going on in the studio. I want nothing forgotten, I want nothing missed. I’m a perfectionist. The producer should decide what kind of music is being made, what it’s going to sound like–all of it, the why, when and how.
So yes there is something cynical and corporate about pop stars not writing their own songs: See Miley Cyrus. At the same time, great pop music is great pop music and when you re listen to the 90’s Martin and Cherion sound, it is timeless with undeniable catchy and tight pop sounds.
Coming soon: Max Martin redefines himself in the 2000’s…is still a songwriting god.

It still amazes me he wrote all these songs

Musings on Swedes and the new Mick Boogie Mix Tape

10 Sep

Swedes are a funny bunch. Having worked and known many Swedes in the past year, they still befuddle me.

Here are some things that I have learned:

  1. The difference between a Swede from Gothenberg, Stockholm and the countryside is in the way they dress and the confidence that they carry themselves with).
  2. I have learned that being in the dark for half the year and the sun not setting for half the year makes them alternate between partying like crazy and hibernating. Kindof like a Euro bear that likes drinking and night clubs instead of catching Salmon, oh wait Swedes like doing that too.
  3. Musically they really made their mark with the previously referred to Max Martin, Aqua, Ace of Base Euro Pop scene.
  4. Swedes are culturally kindof a hybrid Euro/Yuppie/Hipster

What does this bring me to? Peter Bjorn and John, the Swedish duo that brought you the whistle song have been remixed into the new Mick Boogie mixtape. If you haven’t checked Mick Boogie out yet he has been churning out fantastic mixtapes featuring Biggie, Kanye etc… for the past couple years.

The free download is available here

New York Mag has a hilarious take on the Mick Boogie’s Peter Bjorn and John Mix Tape:

“Rappers Love Peter Bjorn & John Like They’re Coldplay”

YDP Gives You Another Guilty Pleasure, Finally!

3 Sep

Ce Ce Peniston was a true trail blazer in the music genre that later blossomed (thats right blossomed) into the pop music of Ace of Base, Real McCoy and of course all things Max Martin (Look it up).

This song probably isn’t gonna get you props in any musical circles. Everyone remembers this song from awkward middle school “mixers” or in gym class or at birthday parties growing up. Even with those weird associations, doesn’t listening to it make you happy?

It is unmistakably from the beginning of that 90’s golden age of synth and piano pop. This song came out in 1991 and by 93-94 the Swedes and Euro’s had taken over the genre and were repackaging it with great results. This was the prelude to Britney Spears, N’Sync, Backstreet Boys and just about all hit music in the 90’s excluding Korn and Limp Bizkit who decided to forsake the Swedish formula to create their own crappy formula of rap rock or whatever that crap was.

Finally by Ce Ce Peniston