14 February 2015

Original & Covers 2x2: A different kind of Valentine's Day post

I was thinking about writing a Valentine's Day post, but I am not a romantic person. So, this is my take on Valentine's Day: These songs are about love, but from a different angle. This is also a post on the Original & Covers series with a twist.

All my Original & Covers posts so far have been in the format of three songs, but this time there is four songs: two original songs and one cover for each. What connects these songs is that the covers are by the same artist.

One song is about a broken heart and one other is also about breaking up, but not as much painfully. One of the covers is about love, while other is one is not about love. So a nice variation for Valentine's Day.


VIA Gra, also known as Nu Virgos with their song Стоп! Стоп! Стоп! /Stop! Stop! Stop!. VIA Gra is an Ukrainian girl group, which has had success in Ukraine and neighbouring countries, but also beyond the Russian speaking countries. I have already featured the group in a previous post: Ukraine #1.

Stop! Stop! Stop! is a song from VIA Gra's second album Stop! Snyato!, which was released in 2003. There is also a English version made of this song, also called Stop! Stop! Stop! (you can listen to it here) and it made VIA Gra famous more internationally. The original version is in Russian.

The lyrics (according to a translation) deal with sad and uncertain feelings. From what I get the relationship moved on faster than she was expecting and now they are breaking up: "I will give myself to him, like a souvenir." I like the style of the music a lot. I can not think of a word for it, but there is something deep and mystical in it. The male parts sound somehow very Russian for me. Overall I like this style a lot; It is dark and deep in an interesting way.


Love Love Love is a cover of VIA Gra's Stop! Stop! Stop! by a Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai. Jolin's version is in Mandarin Chinese and it was released in 2004 on Jolin's album Castle.

Jolin's version is a love song. She has fallen in love and is wondering if this person is the one and only for her. There is some uncertainty in the air still, but her feelings seem to be strong. Lyrically these two versions are very different: VIA Gra's is sad, Jolin's happy. Though both of them have some uncertainty.

Music-wise these versions are very similar. Jolin's version has a bit more positive sound, though the music makes the entire song sound less happier than the lyrics; It brings out the uncertainty of Jolin's feelings. The Russian sound has been removed, but the mythical sound remains. There where VIA Gra's version has a dusky/dusty mythical sound, Jolin's version has more of a magical sound. Interesting that with so little changes, a song can be made to give an entirely different feeling.


The second original song is Det Gör Ont by a Swedish singer Lena Philipsson. Lena is quite well known in Sweden and has had a long career in music. In 2004 Lena participated in the Eurovision Song Contest with this song's English version It Hurts (you can see it here). She finished fifth in the final. It Hurts is my personal favourite from that year's competition.

I have been listening to this a lot lately. I usually tend to listen for Swedish songs before my Swedish exams and I always end up listening to this. I really love this song a lot, both in Swedish and English. It is quite regular pop song, but there is something special in it too. I also love the way she sings it.

The lyrics tell about the singer having gone break up and being really hurt. She sings that it hurts during the night, but not at the daytime (This song was released on a album called Det Gör Ont En Stund På Natten Men Inget På Dan, which is this line from the song). She is very heartbroken, but nobody notices anything. But there is also a piece of hope: in the chorus she sings that she has already made it quite far and starts to get used to the pain. In my opinion, this is a sign of a recovery. The music actually is a lot happier than the lyrics.


Jolin Tsai covered Det Gör Ont five years later in 2009 for her album Butterfly. Jolin's version is called 愈慢愈美麗 /Yu Man Yu Mei Li, which means Slow Life. Her version is again in Mandarin Chinese.

I am now relying on Google Translate with this, but the lyrics seem to be telling about Jolin wanting to take things slower. It is not a love song, but instead talking about life overall: how things are always busy and stressful and she just wants to take a deep breath and worry less. The lyrics have a nice message, in my opinion.

Comparing to Lena's version, this is very different. At first, the lyrics are completely different: Lena sings about a broken heart, Jolin has a positive message about life. Jolin's version also sounds otherwise more happier too. The word that comes to my mind is bubbly. Lena's version has a strong pop beat, while Jolin's is more sweet and cute. I really love both of these in a different ways.

You can still hear it is the same song, but it sounds so different and the overall feelings of these songs are quite the opposites. Once again it is quite amusing to hear how a song can be made into something totally different.

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