Kerkon Virallinen Kesäbiisi 2007 -juhlagaala

Rihanna Umbrella
HurraaKerkko kesäbiisi kesämusiikki
Let’s pick the best songs of the summer-ellaa-ellaa-ellaa-ee-ee…

Having recently begun my professional English studies at the Helsinki Polytechnic Stadia, I decided to write this blog entry in English.

Basically I just wanted to see if I still “got the moves” – after high school almost everything I’ve written in English has involved song lyrics. Okay, there was the story for 6Degrees and some other stuff but nevertheless, it’s always good to freshen up. Should someone have problems with the language, I apologize for the inconvenience. And to those who notice mistakes in grammar: hey, no one’s perfect! Having said this, let’s get to the point.

The time has come to award the best songs of the past summer – the best according to Kerkko that is. All the nominees are songs I’ve been listening to during the summer months. All the songs have been either published during the summer or are recently discovered oldies that have been playing on my mp3 or CD-player. Also, I’ve been listening to the nominated tracks A LOT just because they’re so great.

Those were the main demands in order for a track to be nominated – if I’d start listing all the songs I’ve been listening to this summer—Woosh! I’ve got about 250 CD’s, which adds up to some 3000 tracks so maybe it isn’t really necessary to go through all those amazing songs they may or may not include.

This is the second time I’m hosting the Annual Kerkko’s Summer Song Award Show, and this year choosing the best song(s) has been reeeally hard. So many great tracks to pick from, and pretty much all of the nominees deserved to win.

Of course, we’ve all seen the Oscars and EMA’s and whatnots so everyone knows there can be only one winner. However, there are so many worthy nominees that I decided to create more categories in order to show my respect or maybe gratitude for these songs artists. Just so many great moments…

Hence, I am proud to present this year’s nominees in the following categories:

Best Rock/Pop:
Fall Out Boy: Thnks Fr Th Mmrs
Linkin Park: No More Sorrow
Disturbed: Stricken
April March: Chick Habit
Nightwish: Amaranth
Maroon 5: Makes Me Wonder

Best Hiphop/Dance:
Kanye West feat. Daft Punk: Stronger
Infernal: Self Control
Rihanna: Umbrella

Georg Ots: Muuttuvat laulut
Elvis Presley: Almost Always True

THE Summer Song Of The Year:
All of the above are nominees


I decided on separating the rock songs from the dance songs because they’re great songs but a summer song should be lighter. That of course would mean that a heavy metal song isn’t eligible to compete. Well we can’t have that and so – we have a rock category to give homage to those rock bands. Only one can be placed over the other, but the losers will be announced in miscellanious order. The Maroon 5 song will not be given the title of Best Rock because Makes Me Wonder feels too intentional, like it’s meant to be a summer hit.

Then April March. The song has a great Tarantino film-vibe (guess because it’s on the Death Proof soundtrack), a funny retro-style song. However, after my initial enthusiasm the song hasn’t received continuous “airplay”. The new Nightwish song is amazing; Anette has been a true breath of fresh air, and Amaranth really restored my faith in the band. I’m not choosing this one to win because, along with the HIM album, Nightwish will be more of a fall thing.

Onto Disturbed. I’ve been raving about this song because it’s so aggressive and gripping. However, this time that wasn’t enough, for Stricken was pitted against No More Sorrow and Thnks Fr Th Mmrs. And they’ve MADE this summer!

So, which one will be dubbed Best Rock? A tough choice indeed, I’ve listened to both songs for like hundreds of times. Also, both of them have something quite original in them: great hooks, vocals and arrangements.

The Linkin Park song is the best of the respective album as it’s loaded with such great aggression and energy and that something rammsteinian. However, with a slight edge the winner this year is FALL OUT BOY. The song grips you from the get-go. On top of being highly energetic, I’ll have to give kudos for the vocal and string arrangements.

The video’s funny too, and one thing that may have tipped the scale was that I’d never heard of the band before. The thing that sealed the deal is how I’ve been listening to the song from May so the rock anthem pretty much brought the summer along with it. Congrats to FOB!

Then it’s time for best hiphop/dance. Not that many contenders, and actually the choice was rather easy. First let’s deal with the “losers”.

I’ve always liked Infernal – their songs are funny albeit naive, and the singer has a nice voice. They always seem to have some hook that attracts me. The same goes for their cover version of Laura Branigan‘s Self Control. A nice update to a classic I like. But in the end this is just another dance version of an 80’s pop hit – although a good one – so I decided the winning song should be something more original than just a cover.

Kanye West drew inspiration from another song I like, or in this case – love. His sampling one of my Daft Punk favorites Harder Faster Stronger Better was a good idea well executed. Nice sampling and drums programming. The lyrics include a good message about survival. However, the song quickly starts to get boring. Guess the guy’s more interesting as a producer than as an MC.

In the end, these nominees just don’t have what it takes to beat Rihanna‘s Umbrella. The beat, the synths, the peculiar “um-boe-rellaa-ee-ee-oo-oo” style singing and the video combined will be given the title of Best Hiphop/Dance. I’ve always liked (guilty pleasure!) most of the Rihanna songs I’ve heard, but this one takes the cake.

It’s a good idea to have Jay-Z rap in the beginning and not after the second chorus which would be more traditional. The song is pretty much riding the fashionable elektro-pop wave, a style established last year by Timbaland and protegés Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake, but Umbrella is still original and cleverly produced.

Onto the Retro Award. Only two nominees, but a tougher choice when compared to the previous category. Both songs come from movies: The Elvis song from Blue Hawaii and the Georg Ots song from Aatu Returns. Due to the fact that the former was one of my favorite flicks as a child and the latter my top superduper favorite of all time (self-involved, me?), being at least a bit objective about this was really a challenge. Okay, you’re never objective when you’re choosing favorites, but you know what I mean.

Almost Always True is featured in the Blue Hawaii scene where Elvis, returning from military service, sings to his girlfriend how he’s been absolutely faithful…most of the time. This summer-ringadingding-hullabaloo song is a bit macho, a tad sexist and utterly asshole-y, but still very humorous. A feel-good beach song with a mixed message, to say the least. Brings back many fond memories, though.

Still, after being torn I saw that I must choose Muuttuvat laulut, despite the fact that the melody is rather melancholic. But the lyrics are just so beautiful and the song just warms my heart as I reminisce the creative spark that drove Walter and me to make the whole action thriller. Here’s a sample of the lyrics, this is pretty much the most poignant part of the whole song.

“Muuttuvat laulut vuosien mennen, aika pois paljonkin vie. Muuttuuko ihminen, ja mihin suuntaan voi viedä huomispäivän tie?”

And so it all boils down to one question: what is the official Summer Song of 2007?

Well, I’ve actually given you the bases for my decision already, so…long story short: inheriting the title from last year’s winner Justin Timberlake, the winner of 2007 is: RIHANNA with UMBRELLA. Yeah! I’ve already described the track enough so I don’t want to repeat it all over again. The choice was easy to make as the song still sounds good to me after listening to it sooo many times.Here’s the video, enjoy!

So I guess that’s it for this year’s Award seremony. Congratulations to all the winners (and other nominees, respectfully)! Thank you for a great summer and a fantastic show! This is your host Kerkko saying: GOOD NIGHT & SEE YOU AGAIN NEXT YEAR!

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