What would Per Gessle be without Marie Fredriksson, who joined for the Swedish rock music export Roxette for so many years? He would not only be the head of another quite successful band project, but also a well-selling solo artist in his home country Sweden. With Gammal kärlek rostar aldrig (“Old love does not get rusty”), Gessle releases his 13th solo studio album (which is three more than Roxette ever did). It has been released on 6th November 2020.
Per Gessle – About The Artist
Per Hakan Gessle was born in 12th January 1959. While internationally Gessle is best known as one half of Roxette, he already turned solo before that and has another band, Gyllene Tider (“Golden Times”). The latter is a band which is extremely successful in Sweden. From their debut album (self-titled) in 1980, five of their nine studio albums until Samma skrot och korn in 2019 topped the Swedish album charts. They also started their career with a number 1 single, Himmel No. 7 / Flickorna pa TV2 and had three more Numer One singles. My favorite Gyllene Tider song, though, is the 1982 summer party track Sommartider (“Summer Time”), which is still popular party track in Sweden.
As a solo artist, Per Gessle’s debut (also self-titled) in 1983 “just” placed fifth in the Swedish album charts. However, his third album The World According To Gessle (1997) was the first album chart-topper, including the single hit Do You Wanna Be My Baby?. Overall, there are twelve solo Per Gessle studio albums so far, the last one released as Mono Mind. Listing the success of Gessle with Marie Fredriksson as Roxette would blow this posting – their success is outstanding.
Per Gessle – Gammal kärlek rostar aldrig – Track by Track
The album includes 13 tracks and lasts 43 minutes. For Swedish-speaking people, there is also a version with an additional commentary track to each song. Five of the songs feature Helena Josefsson, a Swedish singer-songwriter, who supported Roxette as a background singer.
1. Nypon och ljung
Here we go – even though there have been two pre-released songs, i did not have the time to listen to any of the 2020 Per Gessle tracks so far. Nypon och ljung (“Rosehips and Heather”) is definitely a good starter to Gammal Kärlek Rostar Aldrig, a quick and rhythmic track, which is mainly driven by Gessle’s vocals and acoustic guitars. Very personal atmosphere. Nice.
2. I din hand
The second song is the first ballad – I din hand (“In your hand”) just feels you being in such a close and intimate atmosphere. Beautiful.
3. Du kommer så nära (du blir alldeles suddig) (feat. Uno Svenningsson)
This collaboration with Swedish popular musician Uno Svenningsson is more rhythmic, spreads some positive vibes, especially in the chorus – I even feel a slight touch of Roxette in it.
Men du kommer så nära
Du blir alldeles suddig
Jag vill ge dej min himmel
Med en ny månskära
Men du kommer för nära
Du kommer sa nära
(“But you get so close
You get really blurry
I want to give you my heaven
With a new crescent moon
But you’re getting too close
You get so close”)
4. Hjärta utan hem
Gessle is gathering some of his favorite Swedish tracks on this album – and Hjärta utan Hem (“Heart without Home”) is in fact a Gyllene Tider song abot a broken and lonely heart. A very deep song, which is really lovely in that 2020 re-interpretation.
5. Segla pa ett moln (feat. Helena Josefsson)
This song is reminding of the Roxette times – Segla pa ett moln (“Sailing on a cloud”) was a demo with Marie Fredriksson in 1982, when it has been originally recorded.
Jag ska höra vinden andas
Jag ska känna vågor sla
Jag ska röra den jag älskar
Den jag tror pa och förstar
Jag ska ga pa mina gator
Bland mina hus och rum
Jag ska sova under gullregn
Under natten i min lund
(“I’ll hear the wind breathing
I’ll feel the waves beating
I’m going to touch the one I love
The one I believe in and understand
I’m going to take to the streets
Among my houses and rooms
I’m going to sleep in the golden rain
During the night in my grove”)
Really a shame that my Swedish is just sufficient to know what the song is about, but not to catch all its beauty.
6. Ömhet (feat. Helena Josefsson)
The second song recorded alongside Josefsson, Ömhet (“Tenderness”), is much more rocking than the tracks before, there is even a slight country music touch in it. No doubt, this is a lovely collaboration.
7. Viskar (feat. Helena Josefsson)
The seventh track on the album is called Viskar (“Whispering”). A slow, very intimate ballad – and a real beauty. Love to listen to Gessle and Josefsson in this song, which Gessle has already recorded in his 1985 Scener album as a solo track.
8. Lycklig en stund
Lyckan är kort och skör som av glas
Livet är kort och skört som av glas
Du gör mej
Du gör mej lycklig
Den stund jag är nära dej
(“Happiness is short and fragile like glass
Life is short and fragile like glass
You make me
You make me happy
The moment I’m close to you”)
Lycklig en Stund does not only mean something like “Happy for an hour” or “Happy for a moment”, it is also spreading quite some positive energy. Quite an uptempo one, close to making me dance.
9. Tända en sticka till (feat. Helena Josefsson)
The duets with Helena Josefsson just spread some extra magic – and Tända en sticka till (“Light another stick”), which has been a Gessle track in 1983 already, is no exception. Close your eyes while listening to this piano-driven track and enjoy the music and the two gentle voices – even if you do not understand the lyrics.
10. Som regn pa en akvarell (feat. Helena Josefsson)
Som regn pa en akvarell – like rain on a watercolor painting – Per Gessle really selected some beautiful, metaphoric songs for this 2020 album. This one is another Gyllene Tider original – 38 years after the original song release, it still feels timeless.
Gessle put the two tracks Mamma and Pappa (Mother / Father) to a combined single in 2020. Of course, the ladies come first. The song feels like beautiful memories. Nice one.
The father song is much more quiet and intimate compared to the mother track Det finns nagonting för alla – there is something for everyone – seems to be the central and motivating central message of this song. Two really nice tracks.
13. Kom ut till stranden
The final song of the album is another track, which has so far been released on the Per Gessle Archives featuring 1982-86 songs only. A song about being at the beach, about memories. Lovely melodies as well.
Per Gessle – Gammal kärlek rostar aldrig – Spotify
Here is the Spotify widget to Gammal kärlek rostar aldrig – including the track commentary
Per Gessle – Gammal kärlek rostar aldrig – My View
After the death of Marie Fredriksson, Per Gessle travels through his Swedish musical history, quotes own songs, Gyllene Tider ones and also some first steps with Fredriksson. The album is a beautiful listen. Very intimate, emotional. Even though it has a slight touch of a Greatest Hits album, it still adds so much to the original versions. Especially if you haven’t been into Per Gessle’s music outside the Roxette world yet, you should definitely dare a listen. I do love the album.
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