What a great year in pop it is already! We got treated to excellent albums by newcomers V V Brown, Ellie Goulding and Marina & The Diamonds, and yesterday Erik Hassle released his much anticipated debut LP "Pieces" stateside. This international version of the Swedish original has been tweaked for the masses, and only has gotten better.
What I like so much about Erik is that his music flawlessly combines solid songwriting, catchy hooks and Erik's not-so-pop persona. You can tell he's a rocker at heart, and he brings that grit, confidence and conviction to his own unique brand of pop.
Staying to true to the Swedish pop tradition, the album is filled with memorable pop gems. From the perfect pop ballad "Hurtful" to the sweeping and heartfelt "Amelia," and from the uplifting "Bump In The Road" to the angsty "Love Me To Pieces" that was co-written by hit maker Max Martin. Hassle sings about love and life with a maturity you'd expected from a 21 year old. And I'm a sucker for his straight up songwriting and lyrics like, "If a bird can sing with a broken wing. You'll learn to bend when the wind blows. The leaves may fall, but the trees stay tall." It's true.
"Pieces" packs all the right ingredients to be a major pop record this year. And as far as I'm concerned Erik's American team is doing everything right to get him heard and noticed. Hassle is sizzling hot, and you better pay attention.
Check out a blazing electro revamp of "Hurtful." Frankly, It doesn't match the epic quality of the original, but anything Hassle is welcome here. If you haven't heard Erik Hassle yet, I encourage to listen to the entire album here. (Support new pop and download "Pieces" on iTunes.)