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Swedish media reviews the “Rox Box”

Written by tevensso on October 19, 2006 to .

STOCKHOLM - Both Aftonbladet and Expressen give the “Rox Box” three out of five, but not without reservations. Expressen’s Anders Nunstedt misses the version of “The Look” where Marie sings, and also the demo of “Svarta glas” that later became “Neverending Love,” while Aftonbladet’s Markus Larsson thinks the box is too much. Markus claims that about two and a half CD is “the rest” and is just filling and bad repeats.

  On the other hand Markus thinks that Marie’s voice is “damned great” and Per was a formidable hit machine during Roxette’s heydays. Both Markus Larsson and Anders Nunstedt feel that Roxette was the best between ’86-’92 (Larsson) or ’89-’91 (Nunstedt) and that Roxette can claim it was mismanaged as much as it wants, as the booklet does state. They both disagree with that.

  Nunstedt concludes that the box summarizes Roxette in a loving, well-made and generous way. “Roxette was great and really terrible.” Markus Larsson says that “Listen to Your Heart” is the best track and that Roxette made pop music that is way up there with what ABBA and the Ramones did.

  Additionally, Nunstedt gives “Hits” two stingers. He writes “On the album ’Have a Nice Day’ (1999) you hear a band that’s lost its compass. You don’t have to listen very carefully to ’Room Service’ (2001) to hear the sound of a duo that’s been lost in the woods so long that the search has ended.” He mentions that the point of this album is its first half, with songs like “It Must Have Been Love” and “Spending My Time.” He disagrees with the subtitle “Their 20 greatest songs” but can count at least eight of them.


Personally I think Roxette were top of their game in ’95 - should have released a new album with the style of the 4 DBUGTTC songs (that would have been their best album!!! Definitely !)

Well that was almost expected, wasn’t it?

Don’t know how they can say they weren’t “mismanaged”?

Not bad reviews which makes a change......

I’d love to hear the version of The Look where Marie sings it!!!!

id also love to hear the version with just marie singing, i didnt know they was one. success wise 88-94 was roxette best in terms of chart success , but i not best for me. best rest i agree, alot of filling and repeats, thats why i will buy it when price drops lol.

ps how the hell do the reviewers know if per and marie where mismanaged or not lol ? ? strange.

The part about the “mismanagement” is in the Box booklet. Nunstedt writes “Roxette can blame the career slope on miscalculations, and the booklet text does just that. A strange McDonald’s co-operation, record company problems in the US, that ’Almost Unreal’ ended up in a flop. But there’s no coincidence that Roxette was the most succesful ’89-’91...”

is there aactually a version of marie singing the look???

Fair enough. That’s what half the fans said when the tracklist for the Box was anounced, so I guess we could see that coming.
I didn’t know however that Swedish music experts were so fond on Pearls Of Passion! :D




HAND & RS are both Brilliant albums! They know nothing. I love the creative talent of Per and those album are perfect fit for his career advancement. However saying that, TWATG is up there with them.

i think Have a nice day was a great album, i agree that room servic was crap. But I think Per’s writing keeps on reaching new peaks with every album.

no to rox albums are the same im glad. if u mix HAND and RS you have the perfect album , strange lol. funny aswell cos i love the second half more so, stars wicf, TCOTH, a thing about you , thats my im a fan. we are all different.

Oooh dear. LOL at poss of hearin Marie doing TL, that’d be class!

Again, has anyone got statistics about how may copies were sold? The last Roxette album that I was easily listening from the beginning to the end was CBB, after that there would be a song or two that wouldn’t make sence. And why would Roxette move from the CBB style to HAND style, I think there is only one answer - commerce.

Not surprised with the reviews. It has always been like this when it comes to Roxette.

It’s true that Roxette music seemed to be more impressive in hey days (89-94/5) we all agree on that. It was at least a much more worldwide sucessful period we all know that...

But the music scene has changed so much over the last 10 years ... I could not expect them to be on that same position anymore. It’s also true that the sound ended up changing from HAND onwards ... but despite that I still feel the same rox vibe in their writing and singing ... if there is anything we can desagree and dislike is the production. But hey, it’s Per and Marie’s decision to have produced their music the way it has been.
God knows why... LOL “wax in ears, or too much beer” LOL

We might dislike HAND and RS and everything from time ahead onwards ... for all sorts of reasons but for me it all comes down to one thing: chart sucess. Once it does not top worldwide it will immediatly means it sucks. And that has influenced a big number of us fans to believe in it... HAND could have been a hugely sucessful album with number one hits and with it no one would care with the less guitar thing or with the overproduce drama bla bla bla ... it was there it was hot it was number one and the rest means nothing. But that was not HAND’s path, was it? So let’s all dislike it for all sort of details ... and the Rox story among fans will always be like this.

how can anyone not agree that in terms of international representation emi dropped the ball big time, it’s easy for swedish critics to deny it cause they are emi swedens GEMS. The are right about the content of the box, but the older per and marie have gotten the better, HAND represents about a third of the box and theres a reason for that , it was their strongest material

Here comes one more “thumbs up” for HAND & RS. I still like guitars more than anything, but the last two studio albums were great as well. If Rox-style hadn’t changed at all, the critics would have centered on that fact and would have said “they’re repeating themselves all over again and can’t undestand that the world of music has changed”. I think that Roxette have developed and have changed and so diversity is welcome, at least for me. I haven’t followed thouroughly swedish newspapers, but have they ever said something really positive about Roxette in the last 10 years?

mareo i agree totally. If i listerned to what i should like and buy , i would be listerning to american gangster rap LOL

If HAND and RS were Roxette “lost in the woods”, how come Wish I Could Fly was this monumental hit across Europe, the “most played song on European radio in 1999” I believe I saw written here a few days ago? I guess they forgot about that when discrediting Roxette!

It’s a disgusting shame that EMI-USA stopped believing in Roxette, but hardly the band’s fault. The fact of the matter is that the US music market is drastically different from Europe and, considering their profession, these 2 Scandinavian columnists seem ignorant of that fact. Roxette doesn’t pander to the American market to gain its acceptance, and what Roxette offers is not what the USA demands. Simple as that.

I’d dare say their music is too inventive and interesting. Even Madonna has trouble getting onto the hip-hop/R&B dominated billboard hot 100.

For what its worth, on HAND and RS, just as with the albums in the first half of their career, I think you hear a band that is well aware of the concept of evolution and is making a conscious effort to stay relevant in their genre, on the changing soundscape.
The columnists seem caught up in that nostalgia of the “big years” for Roxette and appear oblivious that even in that timeframe, Roxette was always moving with the times.

I believe you also hear this progression continuing in later tracks like ATAY, OpNox, One Wish, and Reveal which is why the idea of a new album is so interesting for me. Roxette never stood still in a style, its always a slow push forward, and Roxette in the mid-late 2000s will be HOT :D

WICf was “only” the seventh most played song in Europe in 1999 but that’s big success.
Can anyone tell me why the critics don’t like Roxette? Just wanna know ;-)
And can anyone explain this?
Found it few minutes ago...

Room Service was their weakest album to date (this is not including the many versions of their “best of’s”).
I think there are many reason’s why Roxette won’t re-live their hey-day again. The lyrics are sometimes meaningless (that’s where Marie comes in). That’s what the critics frown on. Also, in ’95 w/ the McDonald’s ordeal, the Nirvana, Oasis and Pearl Jam bands coming out w/ different sounds and not to mention that dreadful Ace of Base band which brought danceable pop to the clubs. Even country was getting huge w/ Garth Brooks. Roxette really had no chance to shine again.
It also took Roxette 5yrs later (after their stellar album “Joyride”) for them to return which, in the music business, is a big “no-no”. Very few bands can do that but Roxette just stood there in all the new bands shadows (along w/ other musicians. It’s all about timing. WICF was probably their last tempt for putting out a major single. One Wish will probably fade away unless Roxette are willing to tour again–but, as we already know, this would be a small tour if anything and that’s not going to do it for them. There basically doing what Lionel Richie and Kenny Loggins have done for the past 10-15yrs is put out a single and enjoy it on the radio.
Now, we have the Brit bands and wanna-be U2 bands coming out and doing a fine job of hogging up the radio.

I actually found CBB to be the weakest, still some very beautiful tracks. HAND and RS, I can listen to from start to finish.

LOL I can’t believe my eyes ... someone said that CBB was their weakest album! This is hilarious ... the conservative roxfanbase must be shocked LOL

I dont care what you think, everyone has personal listening taste.

im totally desapointed with emi brazil also... they made briliant things in the past like release i dont want to get hurt like a single, but naw... CHANGE THE SINGLES IN ROOM STARTING WITH MILK... AND THEY DONT RELEASE REAL SUGAR AND CENTRE OF THE... POP AND BALLAD ONLY IN A SIMPLE VERSION, THEY DONT ASWER THE FANS IN PHONE CALLS OR MAILS AND ”NO” FOR THE DOBLE GREATEST AND ”NO” FOR THE ROX BOX HERE IN BRAZIL. im just talking about this here cause first im unhappy with the tracklist, in any case i acept this one, but EMI BRAZIL NEEDS TO BURN IN FIRE!!!


Living in the USA and being (what I think of myself) as a hardcore Roxette fan is no easy task. The music here, and well Roxette, do not mix. IMHBL and LTYH are played all the time here. I heard Stars once, and I mean once, on a radio station. Most people I’ve come across here think of them as nothing more then a mere 80’s band. That’s not Roxette’s fault, IMO. Also, the younger generation (that I’ve met) seem to think DHT’S cover of LTYH is the ’real’ version while the Roxette version is the cover...I actually told a kid to go drown himself in a pool of S*** once for trying to convince me of it. O_O;

C!B!B! is my favorit CD ever. I’ve warped 4 copies over the past 12 years, and hope to warp many more. HAND and RS are also really great albums. Theyre older stuff is also amazing, but really, I adore C!B!B! and sort of wish they would release a cd like thata again.

I’ll buy this RoxBox, and I’ll enjoy it. Even if I have IMHBL on 67,00000 different cd’s, I’ll still enjoy it.

HAND was a good album, RS was ok but had a bit to much filler....

with the new songs they have been released on these greatest hits

i just find there is a lack of something in those songs... maybe they were rushed compared to when making a full album. Or maybe per just thinks roxette is a side project an just records songs to make us fans happy without really caring if they are that good.. after all they dont have anything to prove anymore? I just dont feel them as much as i would still feel sleeping in my car and the look today for example...

Always the critics...
I’ve never been fond of the critics or so-called “reviewers” because the more neutral they try to be, the farther they drift from the main point; and the main issue here is that Roxette’s compilation may well satisfies a fan’s craving for some unreleased stuff and introduces Roxette for future generations of listeners. If they had decided to release something only for the hard-die fans, the tracklist would’ve been quite different. A critic is not a fan and can never understand what each song represents to someone who has followed Per and Marie’s career from the beginning. Nor will they ever understand the need to leave somethng that introduces the band to a future legion of listeners.
I agree, there are tracks most of us fans would die to listen to, unreleased versions if you like, but you can’t dismiss the whole material for not including what the reviewer thinks would be great! And to say the 20 hits are not so, just eight of them..perhaps I could agree with them... for me they’re ALL great hits,not just 20 of them, then again, it’s my opinion just as those “critics” who get paid for pretending to be neutral.
Roxette was great and continues to be great even if the critics find a great void between HAND and Room Service, every band has the right to experiment, doesn’t it? and I’m glad HAND and Roomm Service weren’t more of the same, I was gladly surprised and so were many other fans I am sure...if Per and Marie had lost their compass or not or whether they were lost in the woods I guess that’s not of my business and neither is the critics’ , the materials speak for themselves and that’s just it.
I have to say I agree with the poor management criteria mentioned in the booklet, Roxette had a lot of potential in the nineties wasted thanks to EMI’s internal problems and lack of representation in the US, why did our favorite band had to pay for EMI’s problems? other artists have already expressed their disconfort with EMI’s management...shouldn’t we slap them on the face? I think it’s just about time we blamed the parents for the crime not just the criminals.
Rox Box may not be so longed for after a couple of Greatest Hits albums but it’s not a disaappointment to any fan, the fact that this material reunited Per and Marie is just enough for someone who really has the power in the music industry : the buyer, not the critic.

For me the best album is Tourism. It has loveable songs like Never is a long time, how do you do, fingertips, and for me the best song ever of Roxette, Queen of Rain. I like a lot the “housemade” style when you hear it, far from excentricities and modern recording places. Related to critics to roxette, I laugh about everyone of this. All of you (when I say all, I related to critics who say Roxette is dead here in this board and fans in general) would cheer if Roxette tell us they’re gonna be new material for the next year, whatever style it was. So please, what we have to do is ENJOY Roxette, although with only two new songs (by now). Roxette will never die if we never kill them.

And Expressen’s readers give the album 4.07!!! I think, it says it all :)

I was more than happy when I bought A Collection Of Roxette Hits - Their 20 Greatest Songs (CD and DVD edition) today in Fona in Copenhagen. Actually Roxette were playing in the store! I’ve just heard Sleeping In My Car and Crash!Boom!Bang! cos I had to go. That was fantastic! Roxette are really back :)

I think that Per´s songwriting is still strong and refreshing, but let´s face the truth, from Joyride to CBB Roxete was one of the hottest sounding guitar maniac bands: Power, intelligent riffs, guitar solos with a lot of soul....All this got lost since “You don´t understand me” Imagine a song like “Stars” rocked with two or three guitars going wild...a Killer!! The songs are still out there and with a few more basic rock sounds Roxette would be back on top. Give us back the Rickenbacker, Gretsch and Fender!!!!

I just got my copy of the roxbox today (I decided not to get the single cd). I have to say I m really happy with the box. I bought a bootleg demo cd from roxette some time ago and paid an insane amount of money. In the end the CD was really crap and a pain to listen to. I therfore can agree to a statement Per made prior to the release of the rox box that some demos are not ment to be released. i m happy with those demos and outtakes that are on the box, they r great. By the way I think reveel is by far the best production roxette have done in their career, although not the best song.

Those critics just want to destroy my day. But I don’t care. Markus Larsson for example, why is he reviewing Rox stuff? I don’t really remember, but when he reviewed the Jo-Anna says/C’mon single he only liked C’mon since it didn’t sound like Per. Or was that another guy? Ah, anyway. He doesn’t even like them, then why does he review them? Only to tell us one hundred and fifty times that they are shit? That’s totally not important, cos we know they’re not. They just change their style a bit. Still I’d really LOVE to have a song with guitars instead of synths. But I’ll go and buy the cd today. Have a nice day, everybody!

Maybe cos his job is to review the hottest pop releases? If people can’t review what they don’t like, who eould review Pink in that case?
Like 80% of the members on this site agreed with them abot the box the first time they saw it as well.

Do they also want to destroy Roxette?

One more review,

Someone before me said it was thanks to their later tracks that he/she was a fan today, and I totally relate to that ;) I’m one of the fans who thinks The Look and IMHBL are OK, but I’ve listened to them many times, and even if I didn’t own the many CDs (soon to be more) where they’re included, I’d be able to listen to them pretty easily everywhere, in bars, shopping centers, radio, etc. Whereas songs like ATAY, MATAH, SDLHA, IDWGH, RS, Breathe... you never hear them anywhere and I love them.

Evolving it’s a difficult task for a band: you can’t please every fan AND the casual listener... Commercially they might have reached their peak during the late 80s / early 90s, but that’s just an angle of the whole thing. Anyway, if I had to say the perfect mix of classical electric guitars and more sophisticated production, I’d say the four DBUGTTC songs, as someone said before, are the perfect model. Each one of them is, in my opinion, perfect and very characteristically Roxette-ish in their own style. Which is funny considering they’re pretty different! ;)

Talking about reviews ... they should have comment the terrible quality of image the videos have on the DVD. Blurry image, this is the worst edition EMI ever did.

i think its all crap!!! i think have a nice day is there best album!!!! emi were idiots chosing singles, if they had “crus on you” for the lead single then “wish i could fly” then “ycpyaawag” then “stars” and then “pay the price” it would have sold 10 million records!!! emi are dumb pricks!!!

Konstpaus: I totally agree. Maybe plus 727 and plus special single in US It Will Take A Long Long Time (from movie Runaway Bride).
Why they record modern album, when they don´t released songs like COY, 727, YCPYAAWAG... and released as a singles weak songs Anyone and Salvation? (my 2 less favourite songs from HAND).
Looks that EMI was little bit confused.
With singles COY, WICF and Stars they could knock down the charts.
BTW: HAND was very melodic, fresh, Roxettish, modern album. But with terrible booklet. There was no bad up-tempo song on this album. No matter if it´s danceable synth song like Stars, COY or 727 or driving guitar hits like Staring... or Pay The Price.

I always thought Marie and Per chose singles from their albums, not EMI... Seems like I’ve been mistaken

Per said many times that it was EMI who decide to release Anyone as 2nd single. Per wanted Stars to be 2nd single. EMI pays promo and videoclips, so they also wants to adjudicate.

come on ’Anyone’ was one of the greatwat songs roxette have other done. simply timeless. i agree that there would have been other tracks on the album that would have deserved a single release. Anyway I don t think it would have changed anything on the record sales. It was strange though to release a slow track as first single (never was that fond of wish i could fly)

by the way Roxette hits entered UK charts at 22. Wicked

actually from what i remember anyone was planned as the first single from HAND... i feel this song shud never of even been a single!!

Overall a very nice collection. I only wish they would have included “I Was So Lucky” ... but other than that ... it’s very nice.


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