𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 - this week: Music, Love and Heroes - Patrik Ahlm
Welcome all to 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿, a series of weekly reviews by Charles Connolly - an artist in his own right. Here, Charles delves into the greatest brand new singles brought to you by the best unsigned artists on our electrifying and eclectic set of 𝙉𝙚𝙬 𝘼𝙧𝙩𝙞𝙨𝙩 𝙎𝙥𝙤𝙩𝙡𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 playlists.
𝙈𝙪𝙨𝙞𝙘, 𝙇𝙤𝙫𝙚 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙃𝙚𝙧𝙤𝙚𝙨 - 𝙋𝙖𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙠 𝘼𝙝𝙡𝙢
Charles measures life…
My weekly musings often cover the wisest philosophy. Or rather, they ramble on about this or that for several paragraphs. Something that has happened to me recently. Something in the news. My general random observations. A sad thing. A happy thing. Ya know: stuff. Basically, something in the artist or song that will give me something to blether about for a little while. But this time, let’s go deeper. Let us philosophise about one the biggest conundrums known to man: the meaning of life. I will not be littering this with Monty Python quotes, just in case any of you got excited. This will be deadly serious. Well, as deadly serious as I can get anyway. Which isn't very.
So what is it? This life. Does it have meaning? Well surely it does. Everything happens for a reason. And that is just what we did. We happened. We occurred. We instantaneously existed. And will continue to do so - at least if this piece doesn't bore you to death with its cold, hard thoughts. Throughout history, we have learnt so much about humans by observing animals. And also by prodding said animals and forcing them to do things they would probably really rather not. So, being a little more humane about the whole thing, let's go all Attenborough, and observe them from a distance in the wild. Their natural habitat. An animal is unlikely to respond naturally in a laboratory. Or a lavatory. Okay, so what do we see here? We see them hunt. We see them eat. We see them sleep. We see them mate. That's about it. Well, the hunting, the eating and the sleeping are to survive. The mating, though... Is this for their own pleasure? Or is it simply pleasurable in order to force them to procreate? Could it be that they do this to survive beyond their years, in the form of a new generation...? Animals procreate. They reproduce. That is their purpose. To simply continue the chain. Or at least as far as we can tell. So, is that therefore our purpose as humans? To hump a nearby Sharon in order to make another pointless individual? Quite possibly, but I feel there is more to it than that. I feel the animals are halfway there. Or rather, we need to stop dissecting animals and start dissecting words. Procreate. Reproduce. Innocent enough, but what if we ditch the "pro" and do away with the "re"... To create. To produce. Now we might be getting somewhere...
We are not animals, so it might be rather more beneficial to actually observe humans. What do they do? What do WE do? We work. A lot of labour indeed. This is because, unlike the animals, we can't go around killing and stealing food. We need to earn it. And we do so by working. And unlike animals, we need a roof over our head: more money needed. More work. Okay, so we work. Is that it?? Are we here to work every day of our lives until we drop? I sure as hell hope not... That's mighty depressing. But luckily, it genuinely isn't all we do. We also have fun. We have a good time. Let us observe. Look at young Sophie over there. Is she busy being humped by Phil in a determined effort to prolong the human race? Nope, not at this present moment in time. They’re both sitting on the sofa, chatting and laughing, as they sip their glasses of Pinot. It’s really rather lovely. But in actual fact, they are both staring at their phone in silence, forever scrolling - the most popular pass-time of the 21st century. So I made up the bit about the chatting and the laughing. But only because it would be obvious they were enjoying themselves. These days, I am told that “scrolling” is also quite pleasurable, despite the lack of expression… Anyway, so it is evident that humans work and enjoy themselves. Is that enough? Should be. But how can one enjoy if there is nothing to enjoy? Well that is where artists come into play. Artists have the blessing and the curse of having their work be their play. They are the makers of fun. The makers of the good times. Everything you’ve been listening to, reading, watching or admiring, has been made by an artist. I split the “meaning of life”, into two kinds of people. The makers and the enjoyers. The enjoyers have to work their usual job in order to have the enjoyment made by the artists, who have in turn devoted their lives to making enjoyment for the enjoyers. Call it, the circle of life. It works. Everyone is happy.
Or, that was all a complete and utter load of guff. You see, I don’t really believe in this whole generic “meaning of life” thang. The real meaning is personal and varied. Sophie might find that she is content with the “day-job”, while looking forward to her evenings when she can scroll through celebrities’ Instagram profiles until she can’t see. While Phil might have a passion for carving murals of dead dogs, and thinks of that sacred evening as a waste of time that could be better spent carving murals of dead dogs. We’re all different. My personal “meaning of life” is two-fold: music and love. Or, love and music. Hardly original, but I’m hardly original. Let us leave Sophie and Phil to their business and their pleasure, while we focus on someone who has similar thoughts as I.
Despite Patrik Ahlm having released a brand new single in the last 10 days or so (You Played Me), I feel I need time to digest. His previous single has very much grown on me over the past 2 months, to the point where I can keep it a secret no longer. Here it is, in all its glory: Music, Love and Heroes. Some of you may already be very familiar with it (in which case, go and enjoy You Played Me), but I have a feeling many of you are not, and I didn’t want the song to wither under the weight of newer releases. Call me fashionably late and irritatingly methodical. Sweden is becoming one heck of a force in the music scene. Well, it has been for a while. But lately, the New Artist Spotlight has made me realise that Swedish blood is a rare thing that makes good stuff. Patrik is Swedish by the way, just in case you didn’t get that. He is also an artist. A maker. His life is music. He teaches songwriting and production for a living! Not only is he making enjoyment for us all, but he is passing down that experience to the younger generations so that there will always be enjoyment for the rest of us to enjoy. And being a professional, it is no surprise that his songs are damned good. He has observed life and observed music, and just KNOWS what makes a great hook. His sound is classic pop. It is big, expressive and powerful, yet personal in a way that touches and moves the soul like a calming caress.
From the moment it begins, we are transported to the land of the great 80s power ballads. Think Spandau Ballet, George Michael, Tears for Fears, Duran Duran etc., but with a very modern sound at the same time. And with the greatest modern mixing too. What I really like is the maturity that comes across in Patrik’s music. Things take their time. And that isn’t a polite way of saying it’s boring or long. I mean this in such a positive way. Everything these days is about instant satisfaction. But without those moments of waiting in anticipation, instant satisfaction is rarely satisfying. Take these reviews for example, would you really like me to just come straight to the point? I bet you’d feel a little underwhelmed and disappointed without my junk beforehand… For some reason, when Patrik seduces us through the verse with a voice that my mother finds sexy (I do too), I am content in lingering longer because I like to savour the moment before the predictably brilliant chorus kicks in - double treats! And in the end, we get music, love and heroes. Triple treats that we really do need to survive. The first is for enjoyment, passion and stability, the second is for enjoyment, passion and stability, and the third is for hope, aspiration and Instagram profiles. All vital, in life. And speaking of that chorus, I just knew how happy Patrik was when he came up with that hook. That refrain. On release day we spoke about it, and I was right. Occasionally, artists get this rare hook that feels timeless and yet is seemingly original - or at least unfamiliar. That “classic” thing in music. Very different to “retro”. For me, Retro means old sounding, whereas Classic means it sounds as though it has always existed. A subtle yet vital difference.
Patrik’s purpose on Earth is to do brilliantly what he does brilliantly, and never cease until he ceases to be.
Whatever your thoughts on Phil or Sophie, it’s all just philosophy.
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