Home > Feeling this, I'm just saying, I'm not saying > Why Roxette’s “Fading Like A Flower” deserves more credit

Why Roxette’s “Fading Like A Flower” deserves more credit


Late 20s crisis point discussion of the day: there comes a time in every individuals life where they’re old enough to have twigged that it’s not acceptable to force their music tastes down the throats of others, but are still young enough to understand that it’s accepted that a certain type of house party has to end with everyone shouting “OH SHIT PLAY THAT ONE SONG I LOVE YOU KNOW THE ONE” at the person nearest the laptop so they can try and find a decent quality version of “Unskinny Bop” on Youtube and cause the family living upstairs to slowly lose the will to live. So society has helpfully settled on a list of songs it’s appropriate to play at these points.

Most of the songs that entered the Early Morning House Party Wail Along Songbook have done so through some sort of pop cultural synthesis. “Bohemian Rhapsody” owes its current “guys who use conditioner and paint their fingernails with marker pens dance anthem” status to Wayne’s World, whereas “Don’t Stop Believin’”’s rise to zeitgeist behemoth is pretty much down to the fact that it turned up on Family Guy, The Hills and The Sopranos’ soundtracks within twelve months of each other. “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and “Living On Prayer” are in the pantheon as well, and while not tied to any particular movie or film in the hearts and minds, they glide through with enough “lol 80s hair” credit for this to not matter (although maybe that guy in the corner making the Richie Sambora “ewwwww-yewwww-yewwww-yeyeeyeyeyewwwewewewwewewe” noises is a massive Moonlight and Valentino stan on the low, I dunno).

Point being is Roxette are kinda fucked here. They were from the 80s, but late enough in that decade to not have remotely funny hair. They turned up on soundtracks, but ain’t nobody in a massive rush to go to Pretty Woman theme parties in 2009. I think one of them had cancer and overcame it, but that might have been Ace of Bass, so that isn’t a story. And for Scandinavian bands to really get any love outside of their home nations, they either have to be H&M homos or kill a few Christians, and it doesn’t really look like Roxette could ever manage either of these. So basically, they’re gonna have to sit back at home with their millions of Euros and mourn the fact that a gathering of four B2B journalists, a paralegal and a guy who just “finished his first novel, yeah” aren’t hollering along to their songs at 3:21am in Swiss Cottage. A tragedy for them I’m sure.

It’s not as if it’s all great: “The Look” and “Joyride” are, to be honest, annoying, and that one song they did for the Super Mario Brothers soundtrack was, you’ll be shocked to learn, some bullshit. But “Listen to Your Heart” murmurs along as any decent Eurotrash heartbreak anthem should, Berlin if they learned some fucking decorum, while “It Must Have Been Love” is corny enough to get a ghetto pass around these parts, and hopefully a place on the Singstar roster at some point.

“Fading Like A Flower”, though. That’s a fucking song right there. Toytown Classical Musical Society chords to kick us off, lyrics about SEARCHING for THINGS, the fact that flowers don’t actually fade, there’s an argument here to be made that it’s the best low-key power ballad ever written. And thanks to Wikipedia, I now know that alongside the utterly butchered happy softcore remix of this that charted back in 2005, there’s also a black metal version. I’m sure I’ll be eagerly checking for that in the near future.

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