This month I’m featuring my top 20 albums of the past decade, to celebrate 10 years of This Must Be Pop! Click here to see all the Decade of Pop posts so far.
For a time in the mid-’00s, Swedish trio BWO were my favourite band. I loved the combination of weirdness and pure unadulterated pop. Originally known as Bodies Without Organs, the group was founded by Alexander Bard, who is a big part of the Swedish music industry and a well known (and often controversial) public figure. He was a member of flamboyant Europop group Army of Lovers, who reformed for Melodifestivalen 2013, and wrote and produced some brilliant songs for Alcazar, but in my opinion BWO is his greatest pop project so far and Halcyon Days was their best album.
Halcyon Days is special because it features strong, well-constructed ballads as well as the poptastic joy of a catchy Swedish melody, of which lead single Temple of Love was a fantastic example. Singer Martin Rolinski has an unusual voice, which makes the songs sound less mainstream, but tracks such as Will My Arms Be Strong Enough could have easily been big hits for boybands or talent show stars of the time. The lyrics are also quite different to what you’d normally hear in Europop music, and the videos for Sunshine In The Rain and Chariots of Fire are quite simply bizarre. There was lots of great music coming out of Sweden at this time but BWO meant more to me because there was another level of creativity, wit and intelligence behind the catchy tunes.