The Daily Roxette

Roxette World Tour 2011 schedule

“Charm School” - album review

Written by tevensso on February 8, 2011 to and .

Here it is - the traditional Daily Roxette team album review! Lars-Erik, Thomas, Judith, Colin & Paul gathered in the virtual TDR newsroom to write up this special review on Roxette’s brand-new album!

It’s been a long, long time (It’s been a while and lots of miles…) coming but here we are… a brand new studio album from Roxette. Years of speculation on Roxette’s future have ended with the release of Charm School and the upcoming World Tour.  As for the album itself, it has so many trademark Roxette sounds, yet is totally new and it feels great to have real instruments again on some of the songs. Most fans we're sure will love it, but obviously there will always be some who won’t.  Our review is quite lengthy, but it’s been 10 years since we've had a chance to do one of these. Anyway, song by song review time:


Colin: A Roxette album that starts with a mouth harp - that must be a first! The first verse really has that Aerosol Grey Machine studio sound and then at the catchy chorus the heavier guitars kick in. The song has a really positive vibe to it and to me it feels like a sequel to “June Afternoon” – awesome!
Thomas: “We will we will rock you!” drums. Love those guitars. And it must be Per playing that first weee-wah-wah-wah-wa after the first chorus! They also used a mouth harp in “I Remember You” if you remember.
Colin: Oh I do remember! That was my first Roxette song - loved it!
Paul: This song reminds me more of “Stupid” from The World According To Gessle. The drum beat is very similar indeed.
You know you’re right! I thought this had a familiar sound to it and that was it!
Not a typical Rox-album-opener really. I was expecting something along the lines of “Crush On You” or “Real Sugar”, so this came as a surprise… a nice surprise. The song, as with a few others on the album, is too short though.  A Marie middle-8 would have fixed that problem Mr G!
Thomas: 2.46?? That’s barely longer than “Här kommer alla känslorna”.
Now that you mention this song, I keep having this one in mind when I listen to some of the tracks on this album. It must be the happy mood. This album has a lot of the Roxette sound we know, but yet we get to hear some new sounds we never heard with Roxette before. This is one example. Great guitars and opener! I am glad that Per realized he can use and experiment with his voice a lot more than he used to! I must say both sing wonderfully on this album. I think this is a wonderful album so you won’t get much negative points from my side, I am afraid. The only one is that the album is too short! I want more!! 2-3 more songs would have done it.
Thomas: Yes, what else is there to add? This is one of my favorites as well, maybe even “The Favorite” and I had hoped the whole album had been a bit more like this song.
Colin: Definitely one of my favorites too, after listening to the albums a few times this is the chorus that really keeps hanging around in my head!
Nobody’s mentioned the ending… I really like it! I think the distorted guitar there is cool!
Thomas: Yes we did! We all felt it came way too soon!

The aim of this record is to amuse and inform.The aim of this record is to amuse and inform!“NO ONE MAKES IT ON HER OWN”

Paul: Roxette is the only band who can do these types of songs, and do them well. 
Yes, it’s like Per says, only he can do a Per Gessle-song (like it should sound). Others have tried and I guess we all know how that turned out…
Marie’s vocals on this are great, I love the way her voice sounds a little different to previous albums.  To me, it sounds more natural and ‘live’, just like Pearls of Passion recordings.  I think there are parts of the song which may refer to her illness.
I agree with Paul, Marie sounds like on the live album and tour last year. Very touching song and Marie is top notch! Actually, after having heard these two songs, you know you are in for a treat: vocals, music, production.
Thomas: I have to say even though Marie sings beautifully and the lyrics are nice, this song doesn’t move me as much I thought it would. It’s not that I don’t like it, but already at track 2 it feels, to me, like an album filler. The piano and the bass is very Lennon & McCartney and so is the guitar solo.
  I agree. the song has a laid back feeling and surely it has a strong message but honestly I this is a track I’ll skip most of the time. It might grow on me though over time.
Lars-Erik: Filler?!? I don’t think too many people will agree with you on that.
Thomas: I’m sure I’ll get some flak over it, I’m used to that.
Lars-Erik: This is definitely a strong song with stand-alone qualities. I love the way the lyrics transition from “her own” at the beginning of the song to “their own” at the end… from a personal reflection to a generic, universal truth.  I think the song resonates, long after the music is over.
I didn’t notice that transition. Well spotted!


Lars-Erik: This isn't the first time this famous Marilyn Monroe quote has been used to inspire a song, but of the ones I know about, this one certainly has the most energy. That hook certainly is infectious!
Thomas: Marilyn Monroe?
Lars-Erik: Yeah…  she was asked at a press conference about upcoming photos of her that were to appear in the one of the very first issues of Playboy magazine.  A reporter asked what, if anything, she was wearing at the photoshoot. "It's not true that I had nothing on. I had the radio on," was her reply!
From the moment I heard the chorus I knew that Roxette had come back with a great song. This might have worked better as the opening song of the album, seems its in an odd place at number 3.  But it’s a great song, and I can’t wait to see them perform it live this summer!  Plus, I actually like the video…
Loved this one from the beginning, different, crazy, but still, Roxettish. My favorite part is the first one with the “really?” - this is so much funny teasing Roxette! And Marie’s. 
The first time I heard the song’s first few seconds it really reminded me of “Thai With A Twist”, it has that “Spegelboll” disco-like feeling. A good choice for a first single with a fresh Roxette sound but it sounds a bit overproduced.
The guitars could’ve been more prominent. 
I have a major problem with all tracks on this album, they are addictive and won’t leave your head.. found myself humming all the tunes now and then.
Thomas: Yes, although so far not a hit in Sweden, and I don’t know if the charts down in Europe are “real” charts or fan voted. I really like this song, especially the catchy chorus. Per obviously sings this and it has a lot of machines, almost like “Crush On You” but more softly produced. Basically nonsense lyrics like “The Look” or “Joyride” but that’s what we want on a Roxette album, no? There are remixes coming soon, by the way.


Colin: While the guitar riffs during the verse remind me of “(Do You Get) Excited?”, the overall atmosphere and feeling of this beautiful duet brings back the Pearls of Passion feeling but with a much more modern, grown up sound. Thumbs up for C&C - great job of getting back some of that ‘old Rox sound’!
Yes, this makes me also think about the Pearls of Passion era, but more modern. One of my top three with the pumping bass in the background and the keyboards all over the place. Did anyone else notice the “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around What’s Already Gone” reference in the last verse/chorus?
Yes! I thought ha! Roxette doing a cameo of themselves?
  No. What reference? 
“Sank like a stone”, same words, same intonation, same sound! No? 
Paul:  *Goes and has a listen*  Well, maybe. Just maybe though.
Thomas: Yeah I may be over-interpreting it…
Reminds me of “I’m sorry”, “(Do You Get) Excited?”. Marie’s (backing) vocals “oohh yeah”, “ooh..”.. you cannot resist that!
Anyway, who’d of thought Roxette still had this in them?  C&C&P certainly did a great production on this one.  The song is amazing, and it NEEDS to be a single.  Maybe the first single release in the UK perhaps??  This could easily have been on their Crash! Boom! Bang!  album and I think this could (if it was promoted blah blah blah) have a chance of being their biggest UK single since “Wish I Could Fly.”  Wonder what it’ll sound like live??
I couldn’t agree more with you Paul, this is an epic song and needs to be on the radio!
Thomas: I do hope that countries get to choose singles somewhat more freely. Some songs work better in certain territories.
The perception of Roxette in the UK is mainly ballads, and I think that this song will give them their best chance.  “Radio” wouldn’t be a success at all, I don’t think.
By the way, the vinyl version is slowed down. That will be interesting to hear. 
Lars-Erik: I stopped at this track, and listened to it over and over again… conjuring up images and directing the music video version in my head.  I just love this song, and especially like the way Marie’s voice is introduced with a “zoom” effect.  


Lars-Erik: Rain. Thunder. It makes for an effective segue between these two songs. But really,  other than Mystic Moods Orchestra, I don’t know of any group with more references to rain on their albums than Roxette.
I loved the Party Crasher version.  This is the song that I listen to the least at the moment.  Maybe its because its not a brand new song?  It reminds me of “First Girl On The Moon”, and I didn’t like that one at first, so maybe this is a grower?  Marie’s vocals are clearly recorded live and left untouched, something which proves how good her voice still is.
I thought we would get the song as we know it from Party Crasher, so when I heard the first words sung by Marie, it simply blew me away, my reaction was “OH” - (more) tears followed. It’s like Marie is singing in your ear, so soft, so touching. Ståpäls! [Gunde Svan] Makes me think it would be great to hear Roxette unplugged again.
Thomas: I like it, but I like the Crasher version better. This is a soft, acoustic version with Per on the guitar and Marie on very fragile, lovely vocals. Apparently Per et. al. hated the Crasher version… What’s extra nice about Roxette’s version is the Beatles-esque strings that start sneaking in during the second verse. Very “She’s Leaving Home” and “Eleanor Rigby” I think. A combination of the two versions would be most interesting.
Yes, “fragile” and “left untouched” are both apt descriptions of Marie’s voice here. I’m surprised actually at how unpolished it was left to sound at the very beginning. It almost sounds as if she had really been crying just before starting to sing this song.
Gives it a lovely touch though.


Colin: For the past few years the demo of this song (Have A Nice Day era) has been one of my favorites. the addition of Marie’s voice really makes the song feel complete – better and stronger than before. Another great duet on this album!
I never really liked the demo, it felt like a failed attempt to do an ABBA song. But when I hear this it’s like it’s a different song. Of course, that’s what Per wanted it to be. Also one of my top three songs.
I didn’t like it much on first listen, especially the “One Wish”-like intro, but having played it repeatedly now, I like it a lot.
Maybe they could’ve upped the drums a bit, that’s all. I think Chris mixes drums too low constantly. Great acoustic guitar in the background.
Paul:  I think it would have been better with more electric guitar in the chorus rather than acoustic?
Maybe you’re right. Classic Roxette at any rate.
This is a cracker of a song though. One of my favorites on the album actually. Never knew there was a demo floating round though.
Can’t really say it’s ‘floating around’…
Hmmph!  Anyway. I love the way Marie and Per’s voices combine in this song.  Sort of a “Things Will Never Be The Same” vibe going on.  And one of the best middle-8 sections that Per has ever written.  Maybe could do with a small instrumental section after the middle-8 but that’s just me being picky.  Some people are never happy! Ha Ha!
I haven’t known this song before (I think?). It’s great to hear both sing in a song together again and again on this album. I love Marie’s longing voice, desperated, which proves once again Marie is simply one of the best singers around. Roxette is back! Ah, and Per’s voice is top notch!


Paul: Son Of A Plumber: The Sequel anyone?  I like it.  However, as you know, I am more of a Per-solo fan anyway, and this sounds like it could have been on SOAP.  The first of the double A-side together with “After All”?  Beatles-esque, Summery, and very Gessle!
Typical sweet cute sing-along pop Gessle song. I am glad to get to hear this on a Roxette album as well, with Marie on the bridge. Fantastic. Getting back to the unplugged I mentioned before… Another great vocal performance of Per.
Perfect song! Almost Gyllene Tider sounding. Or Tom Petty if you will. Lots of acoustic and dry electric guitars. Probably not a hit in a million years, but one of the best on the album.
This is where I get the Här kommer alla… feeling again.
Yes, it definitely has a cozy summery Gyllene Tider/SOAP feeling to it. Good stuff!
Yeah, I like it a lot also!  It’s got this folksy quality that’s hard to resist.  Can’t say I really understand (or like) the gun reference though.
Judith: Sing along!


Colin: When I first read the track listing for the new album, I asked myself whether Per had chosen to re-record the early Gyllene Tider song “Cadillac” but (luckily) this is a brand new song! I really like the dirty synth sound. The chorus is really catchy, it has that The World According to Gessle feeling to it!
Thomas: That was of course not a Gyllene Tider song at all, but a Hepstars cover.
Paul: “Black-black-black-black-black!” The ‘either Love-it-or-hate-it’ track on the album.  The “Stars” or “Make My Head Go Pop“ if you will.  I’m not a huge fan of either of those two, but I love “Big Black Cadillac”. If it wasn’t for Marie singing the chorus, I think it would fall a bit flat, but she brings the life that’s needed into a song like this. Try it loud in car – it works!!  And it actually features the lyrics ‘Bubble gum in my hair’ – what is there not to like!?
All of it?
Paul: Well, I like it! It’s a bit of fun.
Judith: I couldn’t stop laughing the first time I heard this song. Craziness reloaded! I am glad they are still doing these kind of tracks. I would love to see a video for this song!
Thomas: Really don’t like this song!! It doesn’t fit the album in any way. It’s “Make My Head Go Pop” but gone sour.
Paul: Seems I’m on my own with liking this song then!
No, your are not. I always liked these crazy tracks they do. I would just like to see some videos of the recordings, must have been fun.
Thomas: Brits… I never really cared for “Stars” either, except on the dance floor.
Paul:  Don’t mention “Stars” to me.  I still haven’t forgiven them for it! ha ha.
Colin:  I’m with you Paul!


Colin: Jill Johnson eat your heart out! A really smooth ballad, it’s great to hear Marie’s voice this strong. If I got goosebumps just listening to the record, I imagine this will be great to hear live.
Paul: This hidden gem from 1984 has been reworked and finally found its place on an album.  I’m glad they left it until now as the way Marie sings it gave me goosebumps also the first time I heard it.  It sounds like such a classic Roxette ballad and I can’t wait to hear it sung live this summer.  Reminds me of “Crash! Boom! Bang!” (the song) and REM’s “Everybody Hurts”.  I love it!
After the first listenings I thought the song doesn’t really fit to the album. Maybe because the other songs have something new, and this is “just” a classic Roxette ballad. Or maybe it’s in the wrong order. It doesn’t mean I don’t like the song. I think Marie sings wonderfully, goosebumps all the way!
Thomas: I’m with you, I love the song, but it doesn’t fit in, at least not in that spot on the album. One neat thing is the unusual key change at the end of the song! Of course heard at least in two other versions by fans; first in Swedish (“En gång i livet”) by Niklas Strömstedt and then again in English by Jill Johnson, whose version is much more country. Jill’s album is nowhere to be found though.


Colin: “Ooh-ooh-ooh”, tambourines and a sixties style guitar make this such a happy song - it just makes you smile. “Life goes on, after all” indeed!
Paul: The other half of “Dream On” (see above).  I actually prefer this one to “Dream On” and I think it’s sits well in between “”In My Own Way” and “Happy On The Outside”.  It’s the last bit of fun ‘60s, 12 string pop on the album.
Judith: A Beatles tribute. Who doesn’t like this kind of sound? A bit The World According to Gessle too, which can only be positive. I think I can hear Christopher on the backing vocals. 
While I’m not opposed to the song per se, it’s not a favorite of mine. It’s not Roxette enough in my ears. A decent Per-track with lots of Paul McCartney draped all over it. It feels like a discarded SOAP song (it isn’t).
On the other hand, it’s nice to hear this sound by Roxette as well. Change.


Paul: Before I heard the song I guessed that the lyrics would be ‘I’m happy on the outside, but I’m sad on the inside’. Turns out I was pretty close!  Pretty standard mid-tempo track really. Not a favorite of mine. There is always a song on a Roxette album that I don’t like at first and then it grows on me. Maybe this is that one?
Yeah, I had the same feeling about this one too, but meanwhile I am glad to hear it at the end of the album.
I think this track or the next is OK by their own, not both in a row. I like hearing one and feel ‘yes, decent track’ but when they both come together it’s too much, they are too similar. Then one of them becomes a filler. I don’t want fillers. If I have to choose, “Happy” is my winner.
I totally agree with you, Thomas!
I think here we are again, the album misses 2-3 more tracks. We never have enough, do we?


Paul: I always love Roxette’s closing tracks.  This sits lovely alongside “Perfect Day”, “Queen of Rain”, “Go To Sleep” etc.  A nice little middle 8 section as well, and this song just works.  It’s quiet, hopeful and Marie sounds great as usual.  A nice closer.
Judith: Typical album closer for a Roxette album with Marie, just as you mentioned, Paul. Actually I think we get two this time, this one and “Happy on the outside” - even though the message is totally different. I could of course listen to Marie endlessly, so I won’t complain.
I feel that “Happy” would’ve made a nice closer, honestly this track seems more like a b-side to me.
Thomas: I like it, but like I said, two in a row…


Thomas: Well, Roxette is back, no doubt. Before I conclude I must point out that basically all songs on the album actually have endings!! Almost no fade outs whatsoever. While Expressen’s Nunstedt gives the album 2 out of 5 I think he’s overly negative, which is something he usually is if it isn’t Håkan Hellström, Robyn or Eurovision. However, he feels this album could have been so much more, and with that I agree. This is, in my opinion a decent album, it is not a Joyride by any stretch. It beats Room Service, but if it hadn’t beaten that album I don’t know what would have.
Paul: I never knew Room Service was so disliked!
I won’t say I disliked it, but it’s not the album I put on first if you know what I mean. Now, Per sings like he always does - great, Marie is back to her former self and also sings beautifully. It’s the songs and production that I feel lack. Songs are good, but could be even better. The production is professional and slick, but we know this team and sound already - C&C&P. Remember what you told me Per? You need to re-shuffle your team once in a while. No more resting on your laurels now, take it to the next level. Even so I think fans will love it, but it won’t be collecting any new ones. I give it 3/5.
I agree, Thomas: Roxette is back.  It’s a good album, better than I expected actually, but it’s not their best.  But I do think that this is the best that they could’ve done whilst using the same production team.
Yes I agree to some extent, fresh blood…
I also think it’s a nice album, and actually for Roxette a step forward with some new sounds and back to the roots with guitars and real instruments. Maybe in a whole, taking into account all Per solo albums from the past years there is no big change, but I always missed Marie’s input in SOAP or Party Crasher, so for me here it is, finally. Maybe for the next album it will be time to re-shuffle.
Paul: Also, an uptempo Marie-led track, à la “Sleeping In My Car” is missing. If there is to be another album after the tour, then things needs to be shaken up to make it sound as fresh as Have A Nice Day did back in 1999. Both Per and Marie sound great on this album though, and there certainly are some real gems on here. My score 4/5.
Judith: Now that you mention it, yes, more Marie up-tempo would have been nice. We get to hear her on “Cadillac”, though.
For me it’s 4 out of 5 as well. Roxette is back with a new and fresh sound, but this time they shouldn’t wait that long to make a new album! Maybe recording à la Tourism during the upcoming world tour might be a good idea? Maybe it’s not necessarily fresh blood that’s needed but more old blood? I’d love to hear Anders Herrlin back in production, as well as MP!
Judith: For me it’s also 4 out of 5. I think the word is magic. It’s back. As I mentioned, I feel the album is too short for my taste. And if I want to be picky, I would have liked to hear Jonas (and maybe Anders, as you say) guitars. And I am all for a Tourism 2 followed by some unplugged shows. On a side note, as much as I disliked Have A Nice Day or Room Service back then, I have been listening to those a lot lately and I like them. Time changes everything.
Lars-Erik: I'm surprised how much of our conversation has been so matter-of-fact.  We've treated this as normal review…  but yet, we all know that this is anything but a normal release.  This album to many, many fans represents a miracle…. a wish fulfilled that barely seemed possible at one time.  But gradually, our prayers were answered… and our wishes grew from fleeting fantasies to real possibilities.  I'm simply delighted with this album.  I think we all are.

PS. The deluxe edition of the album is shipped in an "eco" packaging, while the regular edition comes in a jewel case.

The live album that comes with the deluxe album is by no means a crappy bonus. A vibrant Roxette performs on the short summer "tour" last year. If you can, get the deluxe edition.


Thanks for sharing your opinions with us. Keep up the good work

it’s interesting how alot of fans agree on the shortness of the album and the off sequencing of the tracks. I am really curious where the demo for only when i dream is...i had a sense it was a hand track but for the love of god I have never heard it....makes me kinda miffed it wasn’t on the rox box. god this album it just has a way of infiltrating your brain ..simple catch phrases in the chorus, a sound’s better thna RS artistically but i really wonder whether it will be as commercially successful....i doubt emi is in a position to promote as well as they should right now.

so say we all

Thanks for sharing your opinions with us :)
For me it’s also a great album [hey roxette is back! ]... It’s not their best album , but I give them 4/5 (maybe because it’s too short... hehe, i can never get enough roxette).
I also miss another up-tempo like “Sleeping In My Car”.

We want (and need) them live in Spain!! :)

Still haven’t heard the album. Got the email today that it’s on its way. Woohoo!!! Great review guys!

Very nice review, guys! Thank you for posting. Now I’m even more anxious to have the album in my player! :)

I’d also like to say that it’s the third time that I read people saying that the lyrics of “She’s Got Nothing On...” are non-sense and I don’t think so at all. I’d like to share my point of view and see if the TDR readers agree or may have some other impressions.

Well, I understand that it’s about a guy who wants to “score” a girl who doesn’t make it any easy for him and maybe to nobody, like on “What she got, she got to give it to some one” and “What she got she got to let somebody find it / What she got is not for her to keep alone...”.

When he sings “Why she wanna play it on her own // She’s got nothing on but the radio / It’s a passion play and like the break of day she takes my breath away” means to me that he knows, for some reason, that she plays alone, naked, touching herself while listening to the radio (how odd!) and he’d like to be part of it.

The second part confirms that she playing hard to get and he’s not sure if she sees somebody besides playing alone: “What she got is just like gold dust in shelf / No one’s got a clue what’s on her brave agenda / Why she wanna keep it to herself?”.

Then Marie comes and tells a bit of the girl’s fantasy. She sees pictures and poems that do not exist: “Who did the painting on my wall? / Who left the poem down the hall? / Oh I don’t understand at all”. Maybe picturing a guy who tells her things that sound like poetry.

What do you guys think?

Take care!

This album reminds me of Tourism and Marie’s solo album The Change, which was her own comeback album after the brain tumor. I don’t see great hit potential with this album, which doesn’t mean the album’s not good but it just lacks some easy going pop production. I see this more like “this is how we feel right now” album and I love the “oh, yes, we’ve got old and we’re not afraid to show it ’cos we’re still rockin’” attitude.

I can’t wait new videos (both official and Per’s)!

Ah, I always love those classic TDR reviews! And yes, the real ending of the songs is a nice detail. The songs feature many surprising twists, not the old standard structures over and over. I hope my post box is filled by Amazon tomorrow already!


Bring on Timbaland for the next album!

Fantastic review people I love it... I also picked up on the ‘Sank like a stone in ‘Speak to Me’ I thought I was hearing things at first, then realised Swedes like to recycle so why not recycle lyrics! :p

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It’s always interesting to read TDR reviews. Thank you, guys.

When/how was the Only When I Dream demo release? I must have missed that one and I’m worried there may be more!

It wasn’t released anywhere.

Even if the official release date is the day after tomorrow here in Germany, the CD’s (normal + deluxe) have been in my letter box today. How big this day suddenly turned. ;o)
Besides the snippets I have not listened to the entire songs on internet yet. Right now I’m finished with the first run through on my CD player. I’m totally blown away from the full songs!!! What a great album! Much better than Room Service! Just a little bit too short. 15 songs would have also done very good. The only song I don’t like very much is “Big black cadillac”. The Cover and booklet is very cool. I liked the idea in the Mazarin-booklet of giving the dates, when the songs were written. Especially with these new songs it would have been interesting, when exactly they were written.

It would be great to get the demos of “Only when I dream” and “In my own way” as single B-sides. Even if they are not perfect, it would be very interesting to hear them. And it would also be great to hear as many of the new songs live this summer.

So right now I’m off for listening to the album again. And of course the live-CD (btw. the first ever official full live-CD by Roxette). And afterwards the album again and again and again...

Thanks for the informative review!!
I agree and ofcourse disagree with a lot of things mentioned.
There are about 5 songs on each Roxette album that I absolutely adore and can’t get enough of. With this one I have more than 5!!!

With Charm School I did not really know what to expect. I was really happy about something new from my favourite band of all time.
Nobody makes it on her own, Speak to me, I’m glad you called, Only when I dream, Big black cadillac, In my own way, Sitting on top of the world.
Those were the ones that made me sit up and take notice. The others I will probably end up skipping sadly.

Like Judith said the songs keep milling in your head. I even woke up with I’m glad you called in my head - odd!
It would have been great to hear more uptempo songs from Marie she has a voice that can deliver a red bull kick!! :)
I am loving the live album :)

Charm School: Not bad for an attempt to breathe life into a 25 year old band, but my expectations for the next one is going to be right up there. This might not kick ass internationally, so let’s hope they put a bit more planning into the follow up and get guys back that made Roxette famous - Jonas & Anders Herlin
Per says they’ve got nothing more to prove, but I beg to differ. You are only as good as your last delivery!
Rox on!!

This album is great!

I want to give a small review to... So here it is...

1. Way Out - Best track on the album. Lovely guitars... Per sings great. 5/5
2. No one makes it on her own - Really good song.... 4/5
3. She’s got nothing on - Good first single... Louder guitars had been great 4/5
4. Speak to me- Like u said “Pearls of passion” feeling.... But the song is boring 3/5
5. I’m glad you called - Much better on the Partycrasher album 2/5
6. Only when I dream - Nothing special 3/5
7. Dream on - Great song... I love it... 4/5
8. Big black Cadillac - Is this a joke? 1/5
9. In my own way - Love it... even if its an old song it sounds fresh, much better than Jills version 4/5
10. After all - love this one, but I’m a sucker for the sixtees.... 4/5
11. Happy on the outside - Nothing special... just a song 2/5
12. Sitting on the top of the world - Good closer... nothing special 3/5

pop on!

Entertainment or death...

Very good reviews! You guys actually made me rethink a few things about each track.
Besides being too short, the one thing that got me about the album is that there is no sense of flow throughout the album. It’s kind of like a compilation of disjointed songs.

“Way Out” is definitly my favorite track, and what a great opener! Very upbeat and happy song!

A lot of media reviews (Swedish)

Entertainment or death...

If you are aware that nobody else heard the demo of “Only When I Dream”, don’t know why you mention it. Drawing a comparison between the demo and the released version is totally pointless. Some guy dared to ask, and you threw him “It was not released anywhere”. Simply disgusting.

Yes I agree, totally disgusting.

lol......I am disgusted too! :p

great review though.....and surprisingly I agree with tevensso more than the others on most points (I say surprisingly because I am more of a Marie fan and I know he is more of a Per fan). I agree that it wouldve been nice for the album to take more of a direction in the style of “way out”, which actually goes against what I said after I initially heard the album as I wasn’t overly keen on it at first but its grown to be one of my favourites. I also agree that a song like ’after all’ isn’t roxette enough and it really feels like a per solo left over.....and I also agree that Big Black Cadillac is embarassingly bad! That’s the negatives, but unlike tev I would never say that NMIOHO and SOTOTW are filler!! Maybe not the best ballads they’ve ever done, but they are still great songs.

Overall, I’m still a bit undecided on the album. To be honest I don’t even really care that there are a few duds.....’Speak to Me’ more than makes up for it as it is the best thing they have recorded in years!!

Thomas, how dare you :D
(btw, I haven’t heard the demo yet, you are so damn mean!)
Marie Fredriksson Online
Be strong, speak true


I didn’t want to download the songs before the official release but last weekend I couldn’t wait any longer since I knew, that my local radio station started to play one new song every day from Monday on; I just HAD to listen to the whole album in a row ... by my own, all alone ;-)

From a true long-term fan’s point of view, the album is one of their best and I would give 8 out of 10. And not just because they are back ... because they still got their unique sound and the album doesn’t seem like it is was their very last one, horray!


What I love:

— Marie’s voice sounds incredibly good. Per’s too, btw.
— Finally real instruments again ... even Beatlesque, yeah
— All songs are over 3 minutes but under 4 minutes
— The accoustic track (I’mGladYouCalled) with the rain is so bittersweet
— Most of the new songs seem very timeless
— You can find lyrics with a deeper meaning here and there
— Very nice backing vocals which enriches the songs a lot
— WayOut / BigBlackCadillac / NoOneMakesItOnHerOwn / I’mGladYouCalled
— No fade outs


But I honestly have to add that I miss some things:

— One or two driving rock songs with Marie on lead (!) vox are missing (in a ’BohemianLikeYou’-stlye)
— Real drums on all (!) tracks would have been fine
— In general: drums should have been louder
— Less ’screaming’ by Marie: Some parts even kinda hurt when played louder; maybe a mastering fault?
— SittingOnTopOfTheWorld could have been less boring arranged
— A big/strong/sad ballad like BeautifulThings (or ’God’sTopTen’/INXS or ’ChasingCars’/Snow Patrol)
— Some vocal lines are very difficult to understand
— More hook lines within one song wouldn’t hurt


All in all, I am more than happy that the ’Soundtrack Of My Life’ got extended by 12 new ’pearls of passion’ and what’s even more important: Marie is finally back on track. Thanks for reading.


Just listened to the Bonus-live-CD. I don’t know, but I think they turned down the bass too much. Is it just me who misses the power behind the songs? I compared it to the live tracks of the Tourism-period and they seem to have more power. The only aspect which came to my mind is that the bass is too low. The sound in all songs - except the ballads - is so flat.

Btw.: I like the fact, that the backing track of “I’m glad you called” was recorded in my hometown Munich and that it is mentioned in the booklet. ;o)

Great review guys and gal! My opinion on this album is that it’s a ’nice’–not great/superb–comeback for Roxette and it is not a bad album–as a whole. Per truly stuck to his word when he stated he wanted to dig out the ’older’ Rox sound ala’ ’Look Sharp!’ and they (C&C&P) did just that! I can hear more of ’Look Sharp!’ & ’Pearls of Passion’ than ’Joyride’ definitely.

I believe it (album) is to short and yet, maybe we are in store for another Roxette album after the tour is complete. Per did mention a while back he went back to Tits & Ass w/ ’Mother of Pearl’ so.. we shall see. I do believe the track listing was done to not ’bore us’ do to the lack of more uptempo tunes which we’ve grown accustomed to w/ Roxette, especially; like you had mentioned; the lack of Marie’s turn to ’rock’ except for ’B.B.C.’

Each and everyone of us prayed, hoped, and cried that God would give Marie his touch for a healthy return and God did just that. The chances of Marie’s survival was minimal compared to others w/ diseases and/or tragedies. And yet, before Marie was given this wonderful God loving second chance; Per had no idea ’if’ Marie would return; Per embarked on what he does best... creating the best Pop music because he doesn’t know anything else–per se–but, to keep writing lyrics/tuneage. It’s in his blood.

As a songwriter it is very difficult to keep the pace that one starts off with or down-the-road per se when writing so many lyrics/tunes. I give Per LOTS OF CREDIT that he is still capable of doing this.. Not many songwriter’s have the gift that Per has. I guess what I’m trying to say without insulting any parties here, is that when Per went on and embarked on his ’Son of a Plumber’ project and ’Party Crasher’ album he used a lot (lyrics/tunes) that most likely would’ve been used ’if’ Marie did not go through her personal experience with cancer, but it is what it is and it’s reality. I’m just overjoyed that Marie’s with us today and doing just fine and able to enjoy her two beautiful children and husband which we all know love her so dearly. That’s more important than any album or career.

If I was to create a track listing; this is just me having fun; again, not trying to offend anyone here; with the (12) tracks, I would’ve started off the album with ’Big Black Cadillac’.. yes! Just like ’Harley’s & Indians’... Because if you noticed.. the track listings have pretty much stayed the same when it comes to Rox albums.. Meaning, the opener is usually an uptempo tune then goes straight into a big ballad.. Rox has done this now with the last (3) albums..

**This is me just having some fun...(My ’Charm School’ track listing would’ve been as follows:) 1.) Big Black Cadillac ... 2.) Happy On The Outside ... 3.) Way Out ..... 4.) She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio) ... 5.) Dream On ... 6.) In My Own Way ... 7.) Speak To Me ... 8.) Only When I Dream 9.) I’m Glad You Called ... 10.) No One Makes It On Her Own ... 11.) After All ... 12.) Sitting On Top Of The World..

**Truly, all this album needed was (1) more uptempo sung by Marie.. The ballads are fine, but there’s just to many of them. ’Charm School’ gets a 3/5..

p.s. we should give Roxette a break.. they’ve been away now for 10yrs or so, right?

@muc_ben: That’s what I thought too. It’s maybe the mastering of the Live-songs ... I am missing the “deep driving bass” (f.e. like SleepingInMyCar had in this 2001 recording: and DressedForSuccess in Sydney of course!)

@joyrider: Maybe it was the intention to put out the rock-component and to sound a little bit more like soft-pop.

It’s so sad that so little live tracks have been released over the past 25 years officially. Roxette always sounded excellent live! I mostly do prefer the live sound compared to the studio sound. As far as I remember Per once said, all the songs from the Room Service-Tour have been mixed for release. Only one song (FLAF) made it on CD. And not a single one from the CBB-World Tour. Officially so to speak. :_(

@muc_ben: Right; and it’s a shame, there is no RoomServiceLive-DVD ...

@joyrider: There is no official high quality Live-DVD for any Roxette show. Apart from the MTV unplugged thing, which is not high quality. I’m longing for Live-DVD’s for every tour they did but full lengh (not like the old VHS which were squeezed in 90 min. with cutting out a few songs).

Does anybody recognized the Ferrari-Formula1-team in the booklet? ;-)
another love of Per.

All in all i must say, that the uptempo-songs are far better than the ballads. except of speak to me! very cool song.
must be a single!

but all in all a good album!

SGNOBTR seem to have peaked at #22 in Austria, although when you look at Singles Top 75, Roxette are not there, so I’m quite confused ;-)

Well, in my opinion, this is a good Roxette album but not as good as old monsters like Joyride, Tourism, Crash!Boom!Bang! or even Have A Nice Day. It’s an updated version of Roxette for 2011. I think they did a good sound update, it sounds contemporary, but still lacks of rock and roll... If you wanna rock, play some real drums, a good hammond organ and that overdriven Rickenbaker and leave in a side the synths for a moment... I’m more of the Crash!Boom!Bang! sound in which they used synths but as a complement to the real band. Instead of that, I guess I wanted to hear more rock in this album. Besides this, there are some radio-friendly songs and some hits for sure like “She‘s got nothing on” and “Speak to me” with a great work behind. I wanna say I loved Christopher’s guitar style: he put a lot of rock in some tracks!
Technically talkin’, I gotta say “Charm Schooll” has an interesting mix with some great and creative ideas behind it. However, I don‘t like how it was mastered: too compressed for me...
Nice album!

Keep on rockin’

Hi everyone,

Go to this link to see Marie improvisin No One Makes It on her Own, very very good !!!


Well, I wonder how many people posted their reviews after only listening to the album a few times? Personally, after listening only a couple of times, I wasn’t terribly impressed with it other than SGNO(BTR) & Speak To Me (both EPIC Roxette imo). However, now that I’ve let it sink in a bit, I have to say, I’m VERY impressed with it... beginning to end! And the live tracks? Wow! If they are any indication of what we’ll hear this summer... well, let’s just say “I can’t wait” is the understatement of the century!
It’s really great work by Per for sure but I can’t get out of my mind that we all almost lost Marie and how she is back and as stunning as ever. I have to admit, the first few times I heard her start to belt out that chours on Speak To Me, I had shivers going down my spine!
Big kudos to Per, Marie, the band and production team that made this come together. See you in June!

this is the best album from crash boom bang

No one makes it on her is screaming for some remixes... I can imagine it working well with a good remix!! pls per I hope you read this... as I think a song like nothing on but the radio didnt really need remixes...

There are 2 songs with fade outs!

I agree with alot of the comments the album would have ROCKED if it was more like Way Out... You don’t ever get tired of Guitars but all these new sounds only sounds fresh and new for the first couple of listens after that its boring...

Just picked up “Charm School”!!! All I can say, IT ROX BIG TIME & I LOVE IT, ROXETTE IS BACK. Marie singing “In My Own World” sounds chills down my back as it is sung so beautifully. SGNOBTR is a ripper (Aussie slang for Great), in fact the whole CD is a bloody ripper.

@ KixGuy: I have also been “fighting” with the idea that “She’s got nothing on” has nonsense lyrics. I coincide with you in most of your interpretations. It definitely has a meaning about a great girl who mysteriously has no boyfriend and the character singing thinks that she should have, since she has a lot to give. Cannot be compared to The look in terms of lyrics and I also think Joyride has something more of a sense than The look.

Anyway, SGNO is great, should’ve got more attention in the radio. The only other song I’ve heard is “I’m glad you called” and I like it more than the Party Crasher version, both Marie’s vocals (although I love Per singing as much as possible) and the instruments. So soft and beautiful...

Just a note for the Aussie readers, I noticed the video for SGNOBTR is going to played on “Rage” on the ABC again.
It’s listed on the Friday Night (11th Feb) playlist but it will be on early early Saturday morning by the looks, maybe just before 4am est. You can check it on the abc website anyway, as of this minute there is no times listed so have a look and see what time you think it will be on :-)

I’d like to sum up the opinions I’ve read about Charm School so far (here, in the comments, on the forums) a little - I’ve read them all :p

A lot of people love Charm School. Especially the ones that love the soft side/the ballads of Roxette.

Those who are not fully satisfied are complaining most of the time about: “to little power”, “lakes bite”, “underproduced”, “to little uptempo-song”, “to little electric guitars/Where are Jonas and Anders?”
And we’ve heard: “The album is to short”

I think another additional classical Roxette-Guitar-Song a la “Sleeping in my car”/”Hotblooded”/”Fireworks”/”She doesn’t live here anymore”
or (if someone might find that wouldn’t have fit the whole album context)
at least another pop-song in the style of “Way Out”/”SGNOBTR”/”Big Black Cadillac” (maybe “Charm School” - the song?) could have done a lot to make anyone happy with this new album.
(Maybe in the track list placed between “Happy on the outside” and “Sitting on top of the world”, like “She doesn’t live here anymore” on the “Don’t Bore us - Greatest hits”)

it’s just fantastic how great marie sounds on some tracks!
Speak to me or especially BBC are outstanding. She sounds almost like in PoP/Look Sharp! times!

And i must say, BBC is a killer. Great vocals, both sounds so cool!
must be the third single, just because of maries great chorus-work.

Way out is cool to, great work. But no marie is bad for a single i think.

You can hear the magic in this tracks. the love they put in some of them. Hete and there they could do something better, but it’s a good work they’ve done!

I thought the whole review was a bit too much “technical” from a musical point of view ... too focused on how the instruments were played or the way it was mixed and produced ... whereas for the what stands out on this whole thing are the songs and how we relate ourselves to them or not which at the end of the day is far more important than just analysing if Chris is playing the guitars decently or not ... Anyway apart from all the “I wish Roxette was a rock band but they’re not ...”-comments I’ve read so far ... My views on the album:
1) Way Out - A nice and very cool opener track but not in the typical line of former opener tracks like “COY” or “H&I” which are incredibly bombastic, like a slap on one’s face to tell you “wake up Roxette is here”. But this a cool going back to what Roxette worked on during 1992-1993 trying out things acoustically, performing for MTV Unplugged, gathering songs for the CBB album, etc and it’s more on the lines of the CBB album that I can totally relate this song to. So if the first song recaptures for me the CBB album sound then something amazing is going on.
2) No One Makes It On Her Own - A very nice ballad indeead but the melody does not create that emotional touch that I wished It had ... it’s a very serene and very peaceful putting away all the dramatic vibes from older ballads. I also don’t like the title for some strange reason. Again played live on studio like Way Out which for me is a plus (a very strong Beatle-ish track I agree) and a very solid strong vocal from Marie.
3) She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio) - The dancy/funky/weirdo-track that I LOVE ... it’s addictive and insane. The seductive dialogue parts from Marie are irrisistable ... the chorus is amazing I love it ... I love the whole song and I don’t care about details ...It’s the whole thing that works for me.
4) Speak To Me - We all agree on this one: THE BEST TRACK! Yeah ... the strongest, the deepest and more more intense one in both lyrics, arrangements and melody (a great melody by the way). This is the song I was no longer expecting it to happen after the confusion on HAND and the too-short-simplicity on Room Service. This again connected me to CBB album and it sounds like it could been a track of it - actually reminding me so much of the leftover song “Crazy About You”. I personally think this song is much better than the stuff they did in POP but I can feel something of “Surrender” from that album and also “Do You Get Excited” from Joyride on this one which for me is a treat.
5) I’m Glad You Called - My second favourite: and I don’t care if this is just acoustically or if it should have kept the production Per did for the Crasher album (if I remember Per hated that production) the whole song regardless the production keeps the same feeling, the same emotion which in my opinion sounds more true and more sincere in Marie’s voice. Again played live and in raw way ... which allowed the song to sound more honest. Short ... but honest. Love the “rain” effect in the beginning ... though for the first time maybe there are no songs with “Rain” on the title ... LOL
6) “Only When I Dream” - This song is the one which reminds me more strongly of “POP” and also of “CBB” at the same time. Strong song, powerful chorus and a very nice typical Per/Marie duet section. The middle eight reminds me of something recorded for “Tourism” sessions along the road in some strange place who knows.
7) “Dream On” - The reason this is one of my least favourites is only because this is a clearly just a Per solo song and not a Roxette-you-could-feel-it kinda track. And I have to be honest without being mean: I got tired of Per’s solo for the last 7 years (too much is too much for me). I skip this one!
8) “Big Black Cadillac” - For all those who compare this to the polemic “Stars” and the embarrasing “Make My Head Go Pop” ... get a grip! LOL This is sooo far better than any of those 2: this for me reminded me so much of “H&I” from CBB album and it’s a smashing track like “Lies” or “The Big L” a great upbeat track with Marie killing in the chorus the way only she could do it. Comparing this to “Stars” or “Make My Head Go Pop” is like ... oh well ... get over those 2 albuns and clean ur hears in “Charm School” LOL Don’t you get tired of urselves enjoying expressing how much u hated “HAND” and “RS” after all these years? Jesus ... LOL
9) “In My Own Way” - This is clearly the big great ballad of the whole album but like they did in “My World My Love My Live” it’s just undeservingly short for the whole great potenatial it has. I seriously pick this one better than “No One Makes It ..” and I would have replaced each other by the other one. Apparently “No One ...” is regarded as somehow the next “Wish I Could Fly” or “Milk & Toast & Honey” ... the ballad-single from the album. Don ’t mind about it ... but this one speaks much more to me. Anyway .... so many other Roxette ballads were left aside ... this will be another (and that’s why they’re my favourite ones).
10) “After All” Sprry, same comment as “Dream On” ... only hardcore Per solo fans can appreciate this and anyone who worships all the works of The Beatles. Not so much my case.
11) “Happy On The Outside” - I only like the chorus ... the whole song does not grab my attention and does not bring me any kind of emotion.
12) “Sitting On Top Of The World” - I understand why people may feel why these 2 songs coming together may sound ackward almost like they were an extention of one another. But when it comes to to “Sitting” what I liked about it is that is so easily recognizable as being dated from 1986 or near that because the chorus immediatly brought me memories from older song from the same time: “From One Heart To Another” from POP and the demo version of “Never Is A Long Time”, which for me makes this song a clearly Roxett-ish one regardless we like it or not. The middle-eight is what I like less ... all of the sudden it reminded me of “Doreen” of the new songs recorded by Ace Of Base which I didn’t like that much. Jesus ... LOL As a final ending album track is my least favourite: “MWLMLML”, “BT”, “Queen Of Rain”, “Perfect Day”, “Go To Sleep” and “So Far Away” ... are way better. “Listen To You Heart”? Oh hello ... do I need to say anything about this one? LOL

All in all: I am much more excited about this album than I was with both HAND and RS which is clearly a very positive sign, We needed this album the way it is (regardless what littles changes we would have made) but the way it is is very significant and is a reminder of one thing: Marie’s award for her own victory and struggle. She deserves this so much. Now if you excuse ... GO TO THE CHORUS!!! :)

@KixGuy, @mareo

KixGuy you are a perv with a dirty mind!! :D Just kidding!!!! ;-)

Although this was not the way i would have interpreted this part of SGNOBTR i like your idea with the girl naked, touching herself... ;D
Who knows, there has been a lot of sex, aahm, sorry, “making love”; “caress you” “undress you” “spend a night within the walls” “take of all our clothes and get close together”, so maybe you are right, why not.

I think Gessle is becoming a dirty old man. Just like his favourite author Charles Bukowski :D *sorry about me bullshitting all the time*

Now seriously, I agree to your interpretation: The guy who wants to “score” the girl who doesn’t make it any easy for him and to nobody.

But I have other thoughts about the middle8 Marie is singing: The girl really found this painting on her wall and a poem (written for her). And she has no clue who wrote it for her. So in my head it turn out that the guy is a secret admirer.

Just my thoughts...

ItsS really mysterious that BBC is compared to Stars or MMHGP... But I must say Stars is a very good song (like the album)! MMGHP... well, I like it, because that craziness and childisness works for me in this case ;-) (RS sucks)

@ Lars-Erik

Talking about the gun reference in “Dream On”.
I think it’s just an metaphor.
Like in Steppenwolfs “Born to be wild”-lyics: “fire all of your guns at once and explode into space”.

Or take a look at Roxettes “Dangerous”-lyrics: “She’s armed and extremely dangerous”.

uhm am i to understand neither version of the album has publishing dates? and not for nothin stars and big black cadillac blow mmhgp out of the water mmhgp was just like ycpuawag a half baked box set filler song...imagine how different hand would have been with only when i dream on it ....maybe not the hand version but still...everything that came out of the writing sessions for hand and twatg seems to be pure goldso say we all

I totally agree with the interpretation of She’s got nothing on: There is a girl who is hard to get and a boy who sees her great and creative and wants her to himself. The girl may be a little mental and she doesn’t know if she’s really made the poem and painting she finds in her house.

Anyway I love the song and the video. Did you notice the reference to the movie made from Stieg Larsson’s detective story?

I just wanna say that calling “No One Makes It On Her Own” an “album filler” is like calling your own mother a whore!! It’s one of the best songs Roxette ever released. Even my parents think it’s a good song. And they hate Roxette. My dad actually told me it reminds if of the good old country songs of Dolly Parton - but a bit more updated.

C’mon....that was a nasty and totally rude. If that song is an album filler, what the hell is “Fading Like A Flower” then?? A song made to keep flies away from the toilet.

I tell you mister, you don’t know a squad about music or Roxette for calling a song like that an “album filler”.....

I’m highly disgusted!

Glad I wasn´t the only one who heard “we will rock you drums” there :-) Way Out three classes over the rest of the album. Cannot understand why She´s Got Nothing On was a single... for me it is one of the weaker songs. Speak To Me gives me nice goosebumps...until Marie starts singing -then I just hear “Wish I Could Fly” and good feeling´s gone :-( Big Black Cadillac is great earworm and Dream On puts a huge smile on my face. I disagree on the filler issue, though. For me it is the best Marie´s ballad on the album, it has the strongest melody. On the whole, I love the album! :-P

NoOneMakesItOnHerOwn is awesome and has single-quality ... and this song even hasn’t got a chorus ... and by the way, I wouldn’t call any song on CS a filler ...

@RobertaRight: You think that melodies of WICF and STM are too simmiliar? I don’t think so. I get this feeling when listening to verses of HDYD and Real Sugar... but not in the case of WICF and STM.
@CoyRoy: It’s just an opinion, you shouldn’t blame someone for thinking that No One... sounds like a filler. Even if it seems crazy to you ;-) Opinions differ...

Agree on that. This song is where my friends actually asked “this is fantastic, how come I missed this Roxette hit?” :-)) (thinking it was an older previously released song).

Maybe they are not, I do not know, but in my ears the choruses sound very similar. When I hear it, I simply hear Wish I Could Fly... maybe it is just in my head :-))

about the “no one makes it...” thing:

I don’t think it’s good enough to be a single. you can’t compare it with FLAF.
Actually i skip it very often. You expect something more powerful after Way out. And “No One” is actually boring. at the end it grows, but not enough to say it has single-format, sorry.


Charm School has debuted on the Australian iTunes Chart at #180 (been released for a few hours now)


@Roberta Right: Try re-listening to “Crazy About You” (recorded for the CBB album but left aside and only released as a bside 2x in 1995 and 1999) and draw ur own conclusions as to whethere there is something strongly similar between Speak To Me and that bside that literally a lot of people easily forgot. Does it not sound more similar to it than to WICF which is more on the vein of the old “IMHBL-arrangemet” ballads? Let me know later. But I do see where the “WICF” similar vibes do come from ...

It’s so easy and so often that among the new songs we’ll find bits and pieces that will immediatly make us remember older songs. Not only “Speak To Me” makes me remember of “Crazy About You” all the time, but also “Sitting On Top Of The World” despite being for me a boring ending track it still has something that trully tells me that this came from a very old demo from 1986-ish because of the similarities I found with “From One Heart To Another” and the demo version of “Never Is A Long Time” both track from the same era. That makes it fun to have such and old song on a new album: although I wish it sounded less boring and had a bit more edge and something as powerful as all the previous ending-album-tracks. “I’m Glad You Called” is part of the somehow “C!B!B!”-ballad family where songs like “Cooper” and “Anyone” are also included. Even though CBB remains the best one in all ways: melodycally, lyrically, emotionallywise and productionwise ... I can’t stop listening to how deep and honest this “acoustic” re-recording became and much I love it this way. I was already seduced by the “Crasher” version due to Helena’s echoing vocals (which sound so far better than Per on the new version) but Marie came in and took it to a complete different level of honesty and emotion that I don’t think Per could have expressed for me. “She’s Got Nothing On But The Radio” is such a strange song due to its sassyness, fun and funky sound but I actually could relate it to other older songs like “Opportunity Nox” or “Real Sugar” and also Per’s own “Kix”.

I disagree that “No One Makes It On Her Own” is a filler song: It would have to be really crapy to be labelled as such. I see this being released this as a single (the so called “Roxette”-ballad-single release) but personally I prefer “In My Own Way” which sounds emotionally and musically more powerful in its whole than “No One ...”. This one is very serene and somehow a bit lighter - the same way “MTH” was very light-weight - whereas “In My Own Way” is a more pompous ballad, a bit more dramatic, a powerful melody and lyric that I don’t remember hearing Roxette recording for many years. It’s just sad that it’s too ... short ... LOL Like the whole album but in this song for me its shortness it’s kinda disturbing , because for all its greatness and power it deserved having been a longer ballad. It’s the second time Roxette did this: the first time I felt that was with “My World My Love My Life” which is still an amazing song to me but shortened to 4 minutes sounded not enough. Funny enough: for the first time in many many many many years this is the first album that does not have a “IMHBL-arrangement-kind” of ballad. The last one for me was “Breathe” in 2002 then ... no more ever since. Per was serious about this kind of ballad arrangement saying in 2001 that “we do get tired of ourselves”.

Final thought: Isn’t it interesting that in the Internet-era albuns like “HAND” and “RS” and I guess I might include “CS” became far more easily commented and criticized for its good and bad from all of us leading to heated and sometimes stupid arguments on how they were or how they should have been for all the love and hate they brought in? We all expressed our views on them and suddenly ... dealing with extremelly different opinions than ours became somehow more of a problem and took too much of our time than giving these albums the same treatment that “Joyride”, “Look Sharp” and “CBB” had ... oh yeah, in those years it was just each one of us enjoying the music in a more lonely way and allowing it to build a story in our lifes ... Regardless all the bad and good HAND and RS could have had ... I wonder if for anyone out there allowed these albuns any chance to somehow build any story in their lives or was it more “interesting and fun” to throw tomatoes and eggs at them from day one until ... now and share that to the world on Internet? LOL I hope that CS will at least give someone a story to remember many years later despite any bad criticism it will gain online.

... I truly feel that ’Speak To Me’ is NOT a strong of a single. If we were back in the early to mid 80’s yes, but NOT NOW. Many of you are going to disagree w/ me, but listening to this tune over and over.. there’s no way that (it) would receive the same acknowledgement and success as ’Wish I Could Fly’. Marie sounds gorgeous and yet, the melody is 80’s.

Now, I know that many European bands including Scandinavian produce that 80’s sound; bare with me on this; I know it sounds like I’m contradicting myself; and yet, this tune is definitely to 80’s. I believe if anything was to go Roxette’s way, it would be sending ’In My Own Way’ over to country stations do to the fact that many of the tunes have that country-twang. I also DISAGREE on the remarks on ’After All’... that tune would do quite well.. it’s catchy, has that Brit ’flavor’ per se... Big mistake and disappointment if ’Speak To Me’ is released as a single.

Yes, there are many bands going back to that 70’s vibe such as ’Band of Horses’, ’Fleet Foxes’, Conor Oberst and ’Manchester Orchestra’ and then you have bands going into the psychedelia like ’MGMT’, ’Animal Collective’ etc etc..

I believe Per’s way of attempting to sound ’new’ and yet, going back to the old school style at the same time is not going to work. If you listen to R.E.M.’s latest.. it sounds very much like the old R.E.M. yet, ’today... and doing what they do best.

’After All’ or ’Way Out’ should not be ignored as singles.. I’d even take ’Big Black Cadillac’ over ’Speak To Me’ and that’s saying a lot.

My opinion and sorry to Pop the bubblegum bubble. Again, country stations would just eat up ’In My Own Way’.. and I don’t truly care for country myself, but there are some incredible songwriter’s/artists in that genre.

Just listened to the album. For me the only real standouts (after one listen mind you) are Speak To Me, Only When I Dream, Big Black Cadillac. Speak To Me gave me goosebumps when I first listened to it, so I know that is a great song :-) And SGNO(BTR), but i’ve listening to that for the past 6 weeks and still loving it.

I think it’s going to take a few listens before I really get into this album. I think I was hoping for more SIMC, ON, HDYD! style songs but it’s full of somewhat “lightweight” ballads and some not so rocky up-tempo tracks.

Marie sounds beautiful, just so amazing to hear her on an album again with PG.

I’ll be playing it over and over on the weekend and we’ll see what sticks in my head :-)

Hey folks. I’m a swedish guy from Gothenburg in Sweden and I just came “home” from the JB Hi-Fi-store in Miranda (outside Sydney) in AUSTRALIA. And what did I bought? The new rox-cd of course! :) (DL Edition) Seriosly now you know everyone that the album is released here. The store itself didn’t have any posters or other promotional stuff about the album. There was a big commercial stand with “new releases” but the album wasn’t unfortunatelly there so I had to ask a guy in the store, but at least they had a lot of copies.

So what do I think about the album: So far so good. For the moment I’m at “Only when I’m dream” and Marie’s voice is really kick’n’n ass. I don’t think the album sounds much 80:s. Especially on Look Sharp! you have those guitar-sounds that almost none use today for example and Roxette doesn’t use it today either. It’s so great to hear a whole, new rox-album. I really hope they do some more, they really prove that they can.

Next week I’m going to order the single and the “normal” album from CDON and I might buy the LP as well. The 22:rd feb I’m going back to the north. With my new rox-album :)

@CoyRoy: Sorry, don’t know your mother so I can’t say if she’s a whore or not. I just don’t like the song, deal with it.

Austrian iTunes Charts, 11.02.2011, 11:30

personally i think “No One...” and “In My Own Way” even can’t reach the level of “Salvation” or “Breathe”.

No special melody, nothing to remember in this songs. People outside of english-speaking countries don’t listen to the words when the song is on the radio. They listen to the music, melody. And both are in my eyes really boring.

I have this problem with all the ballads on the album. they are too soft. just like light rain, or non salted noodles... “Speak to me” is totally different.
And “I’m Glad You Called” is special, because of it’s acoustic production.

all other ballads are just boring and album fillers for me, sorry. there is nothing to compare with older ones.

The up-tempo songs are the jewels on charm school. Thats my opinion. I love them!

Before I read all the other reviews here, this is mine - and I try to do it short and good:

* not their best, but: This is the album I waited for since 1994. Better than HAND and RS. Musically more valuable, pretty much what we love about Roxette, some new facette, so: THIS IS ROXETTE and that’s a holiday as we all know!

* best song on first listen: ONLY WHEN I DREAM. That song made me rise up from my sofa and celebrate. Next best song: SPEAK TO ME. Wow.

* The album in total could have been a bit longer, I still miss an album that kind of told a musical story like CBB, with a bit of dramaturgy, but hey - once again, I’m so so thankful to hold a new Roxette album in my hands, everything else is a Bonus!

So for me it’s 4/5 on first listen. I’ll see in a year time if I still rate it better than HAND, but at the moment: THANKS Per & Marie!

@darula; yep, Timbaland’s the man!

@tdr; Thanks for the review, great stuff!

I hope Roxette will never be involved with that Timbaland’s crap music. That’s the last thing we need.

timbaland, never *ever* touch Roxette.

timbaland prodouced what was the worst selling duran duran album ever if he went near roxette I’d set him on fire... oh and noone makes it on their own is not a filler song...a filler song is try a little bit harder that was a filler song.


o say we all

Filler or not, I consider “Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)” one of the nicest songs on RS...

Different opinions make the world go round....


@ Roxettte: Thank You for this wonderful piece of music!!!!

BTW: Any chance that one can listen to/ buy the slowed down LP version of Speak to Me! :)

Rumors have it that the song isn’t really slowed down. I haven’t yet received my LP due to a snowstorm so I can’t verify it.

Hey Thomas, thanks for the info :)
Could you keep us posted on this, once the snowstorm is over and the LP found its way to you!?

Today it’s “Roxette-Day” on german radio-station NDR2!
Actually they play “So far away”! cool :-)

Austrian iTunes Album Charts / 11.02.2011, 19:50

#2 + #8 + #22 + #30 ... that’s what I call a Roxette-friendly Top 30 ;-)

... and BigBlackCadillac is the most downloaded Rox song after SGNOBTR at the moment ;-)

Just noticed: Marie’s chorus in Cadillac is very similar, melody wise, to the ’la-la-la’ bit in Dixy from Per’s EHM album! Not the style obviously, but the notes. You can sing BBC’s chorus along to Dixy!


Great album. For me the real strong ones are “Way Out”, “Speak To Me” ( like someone said before, sounds like 2 choruses were mixed together into one song) and “Dream On”. Dream On takes me back to the days of Church Of Your Heart.”Shes Got Nothing On” sounds better on the album than in a single-format. Cant explain. Perhaps it stands out more.”Im Glad You Called” is great, even if I kind of miss the Per Gessle version with all the keyboard. Marie sings that one just great. “Big black Cadillac” was a surprice. I was expecting something like “Make my Head Go Pop” or “She Doesent Live Here Anymore” but i was surprices in a good way. I like the speaking part in that one. sounds cool.”No One Makes It On Her Own”, “In My Own Way” “Happy On The outside” and “Sitting On the Top Of The World”- these didnt moves me as much as the others. thats strange because I always tend to love the ballads more. But im sure ill fall in love with them later. I didnt like “Wish I Could fly” so much in the beginning in 1999, now its one of my all time favorites:). Its to early for me to say if its better than other Roxette albums... im surpriced to see that so many ppl disliked Room Service in retrospective. Have a nice album!

Nice little movie about the comeback of Roxette from, the page of a german weekly news magazine.
They show pictures of Marie and tell mainly the story of her illness and how the idea of a comeback came up.

I have the same point of view about the album like you :-)
Nothing more to add.


Really touching! Do you know whem this was recorded. Never heared Per speaking of Marie’s illness like this before!

I finally had the chance to listen to the so mentioned version done in 1996 by Jill Johnson and I was equally blown away by what she did back then. The woman does have one set of lungs and sings wonderfully, she’s like the “Swedish” version of Martina McBride I’ll agree on that. Naturally the whole production on Roxette sounds a bit more smother, lighter during the first minute or so and then “crash... boom ... bang” LOL To be very honest it’s a bit more “country-bluesy” than Johnson’s version which for me sounded far more of a power pop rock ballad with this huge powerful drum sound (suitable for the C!B!B album maybe?) and this strong vocal performance. But on the other hand, Roxette’s version sounds emotionally stronger as Marie delivers some of her best vocals ever since a long long time. I can totally see this song on a movie soundtrack or even maybe on a Brazilian soap opera soundtrack (which means that both Brazil and Portugal would somehow be 2 countries where this song could be a huge hit). I still feel much more touched and moved by this one in comparision to “No One ...” but please don’t take me the wrong. It’s probably their biggest ballad ever in many years since “Wish I Could Fly” although along the way “A Thing About You”, “Breathe” and “My World, My Love. My Life” are for me at least amazing ballads and on my fav list. When I mean a big ballad in Roxette terms I am really placing this one on the same level where “It Must Have Been Love” and “Listen To Your Heart” or even “Crash! Boom! Bang” belong to. I hope I might not sound too ambitious about this but It’s a feeling I trully have about this one regardless any kind of chart sucess it will or will not have. The song for me speaks for itself. PS. I loved the lyric change from “You’re a dreamer” to “I’m a woman” great statement. I kinda wonder what would it be like to hear Roxette duetting this with Jill :) It would be a first :)

PS: Has anyone noticed the “an ocean of teardrops” reference in the lyrics? How many other Roxette songs back in the 80s had this same expression? LOL

Hello Per, Marie, and everyone who loves Roxette,

Today, Friday February 11th, I receive the new cd Charm School. I have heard today, and tonight several times the music of this beautiful and great new cd of you. It sounds great to hear the fantastic music and the excellent voice of Per and most of all Marie.

Many thanks to make this cd after all these years.

Jeroen vd Haas, The Netherlands

@ You are not only a 60s lover ... you clearly worship everything Per does (on his own) as far I can tell from ur rating LOL What about Marie? The years between “Mazarin” and “Party Crasher” must have been a thrill for you :)

I am kinda shocked when I read that “Big Black Cadillac” was so loved by one half and totally treated like trash by the other half ... OMG .. Are we really going the “Stars” route again?? I personally feel this is a very cool uptempo track. So yeah It could have been produced into a straight live drums instead of the synth-drumloop in the back ... but then again ... why should drums and eletric guitars be always the reason for such extreme opinions? I mean no one bothered with the hi-hat drum sound back in the 80s and now everyone is disturbed and disgusted by drumloops? Marie delievers a great vocal in the chorus and the whole song sounds very much strong and not at all an embaressement (speaking from a melodic point of view!!). Far better than “Stars” and “Make My Head Go Pop”? Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh 10000000% better than the controversial song of 1999 and the biggest joke ever recorded by Roxette since “Physical Fascination” in 1991. Now “Cadillac” being a joke?? LOL Oh well ... Roxette fans ... we all love the band but we love them for too many different reasons we don’t seem to agree at all in almost nothing indead. Thanks Internet for this “mish-mash” of love and hate in the Rox camp LOL

Hi TDR Forums :-)

So I’m in two minds about posting. We all know what this place can get like :-)

I firmly believe that if you’ve got nothing nice to say, then say nothing at all – but part of listening to a new CD is honest feedback, but of course, this place thrives on flame wars and passionate attacks, so I’ll be gentle.

Firstly –

I’m so glad Roxette are back.

I’m so glad Marie is healthy.

I’ve never heard Marie sing so well!

Lyrically, Per has delivered some great words!

I’m so grateful and proud Roxette have recorded a new studio album.

Who would have EVER imagined the year we’re having?

We are the luckiest fans ever!

I salute Marie’s strength! I salute Per’s passion!

I salute US all for hanging around and having hope!

And now? The band is on a WORLD TOUR! Who would have ever guessed it? Very exciting time to be a Roxette fan, love is in the air! :-)

But… as for the album…

Oh me, oh my.

This is like listening to an updated “Roxette Rarities” compilation. A mish-mash of B-sides, loads of filler and left over Gessle-solo off-cuts.

Room Service was a wreck but I guess looking back, it at least sounds like a Roxette CD. If someone were to distort P&M’s voices and someone asked me to guess the band singing I would NEVER guess it was Roxette. This sounds NOTHING like Roxette.

There is nothing Roxette about this and whatever “Roxette” there is on this disc, is certainly their B-side moments.

I’m not disappointed or whinging, just slightly bemused – Per came out touting “classic Roxette”… my goodness, I’m yet to hear it. If Per came out and said “hey, we’re 50 years old, here’s a mature, relaxed, unpoppy, unRoxette-ish” album, then that’s totally fine. I feel I was slightly misled here, particularly with Clarence’s boastful comment which has fallen way off the mark :-)

The album is NOT awful. It’s NOT cringeworthy. It’s NOT embarrassing. It’s NOT daggy. It’s just that… well, it’s not very good. Standards have dropped. Remember the days when “Crazy About You” couldn’t make the Crash Boom Bang LP? Remember when Per felt “Vulnerable” wasn’t quite right for Tourism? Remember when “Little Miss Sorrow” didn’t sit well on HAND? Standards. Hard decisions. Strict visions and hard calls had to be made!

My oh my, when songs like “After All”, “In My Own Way”, “Happy on the Outside” can end up on a Roxette album and the country-acoustic-rock “Way Out” can open the record, then you know you’re in trouble :-)

Can you honestly put your hand on your heart and argue that “After All” sounds like a Roxette song or a song that would have ever stood a fighting chance to make the record back in the day?

It literally sounds like they’ve gone scrounging around the studio finding whatever left overs they could and thought “yep, that’ll do, that’s good enough”.

It’s easy to attack Christopher Lundquist and scream for Jonas & Anders to return (and I agree)… but this time around, it’s not Christopher, nor Clarence, nor Marie who has delivered mediocrity here, I feel it’s Per. And who can blame the poor guy?

Since 2003 he’s released FOUR solo projects brimming with exciting and innovative up-tempo pop! One of those releases was a DOUBLE CD and of course he did some GT work too! That’s A LOT of new material for ONE MAN! And they’re all EXCELLENT! The pressure is on this man to deliver and unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to this time around, but that’s ok! I’m sure he will next time around. When he can still pen catchy, genuine sounding hits like “Silly Really”, “C’mon”, “Hey Mr Dj” and “Theme from Roberta Right”, the guy’s still got IT. He’s had an amazing run from 2003-2009 but I feel maybe he’s exhausted all his good stuff and unfortunately, left a whole heap of average material for Charm School.

Again, not his fault, it’s ALL on his shoulders to deliver a hook like “hello you fool I love you”, but I do feel he’s delivered us some ordinary songs that not even Jonas and Anders could’ve saved.

But hey, it’s all good. It’s ok. I’m just THRILLED their back. The sleeve design is INCREDIBLE, best looking album ever… unfortunately though; I’m so confused as to what I’m listening to.

From a poor man’s “Stupid” in “Way Out” to a weak attempt at “Shadow of a Doubt” on “Only When I Dream” to a bland re-interpretation of “Better off on her own” on “Dream On”, the record one minute sounds like 1987, then 2011, then 1993. It’s all over the shop, it’s a mish-mash of very average sounds, little hooks (aside from the chorus to Speak to Me) and then he ends it with the dreamy pop sound of “Doesn’t Make Sense to Me” in “Sitting on Top of the World”. How can “After All” sit on the SAME record as “Sitting on top of the World”?

The album makes no sense to me; it honestly sounds like “Rarities 2011” – but hey, so what? That’s just my opinion! I love them just the same, MARIE IS ALIVE and KICKING, they’ve given us an exciting new year and they’re active!

I’m sure they’ll bounce back from this!

Fingers crossed it all grows on me, their albums often take time with me, I’m usually always disappointed at first but then it strikes a chord, hopefully this does the same!

Hopefully I re-post in a month’s time EATING MY WORDS - HOPEFULLY! :-)

Cheers ROXETTE, welcome back!


P.S. Fave tracks thus far include “I’m Glad You Called” [incredible performance!!! Super League stuff] “Speak To Me”, “SGNOTBR” and “Sitting on Top of the World”... and I guess “Way Out” is ok too.
P.P.S. Bloody curdling bad songs include the loud, noisy and annoying “Only When I Dream” and “After All” which really needs no explanation!
P.P.S.S.I can’t express how GRATFEUL I am that Marie is ALIVE AND WELL and PER is touring with the guys again! This is an awesome period, so please, no haters because thus far the album hasn’t grabbed MY attention... ... ...yet! ;-) Fingers crossed I’m back in a few weeks with a different feel!

“BBC” is kinda special. It´s has really modern/experimental sound/vocals and maybe that´s what some fans disturbs. I like it really much!
Per, with his cool voice (almost HDYD-like, just a little bit disturbed), and Marie so high and clean...great! And an awesome chorus! But maybe all in all too extreme for a comeback-single/ single at all.

But i think, that Roxette will only have 3 singles this time. Second one will be a ballad (i hope for “Speak To Me”) and than maybe another up-tempo. “BBC” is great, and there is a lot of Marie in it, but i must say, in this case, “Way Out” would be a lost pearl. “Way Out” is so damn good! Kind of ironic, that there is almost no Marie in it :(

BBC sounds less forced than the HAND cd....It’s like Roxette were trying to be someone they are not, and this album seems more natural, and the way they made BBC made them look like they are doing this kind of song for years and years.

And yes, Marie sounds better than ever!! There’s this immence emotion and knowledge in the way she sings. Like her voice is speaking from true experience and like she’s trying to tell the listener that this comes so natural and that she’s glad to be back.

I think Roxette only recorded 2 “jokes” in their career: “Cooper” and “Happy Together”.....and this little middle part of “I’m Glad You Called” - shows Per’s BIG limitations as a singer too clearly. He should stay away from serious, slow songs and keep to faster songs. Let’s leave the rest for the pro’s!!

5 years ago, all of you would have died for a new rox album- now it’s released and it’s a very good album. So why are some of disappointed at all?

* Missing of more up-tempo/rock songs: Do C!B!B! or HAND have more rocking songs? NO!
* Too much Gessle-style songs (After All/ Dream on?): He writes the songs, where is the problem? Imagine, Gessle would have released “listen to you heart” or “the look” as solo projects, 20 years ago...

The album is great- some of you like the songs sung by Marie more, some the songs sung by Per- hey it’s roxette. There are always songs you prefer more than others.


In 2015 lots of you will say: Hey we would give our fingers to have a new roxette-album, an album like “CS”- despite the fact you are complaining now...

Tztztztztz... Rox fans never seem to be happy...

Well, I suppose the reason of people complaining about every single Roxette release is that a lot of the Roxette fans became a fan of Roxette during a different period or for a different style. Even though Roxette stayed Roxette over the years, the sound, production and vocals changed during the time (thnaks God). Maybe it would be easier for somepeople to be fan of another swedish pop group that covered themselves over and over again... its a beautiful life...ohohoh... just kidding ;)

I am glad this album sounds like it does... who wants all the albums to sound the same? Its a superb collection.

It’s like having won a million in the lottery.... every one would be lucky.

but a rox fan would say: why only a million?

It’s so annoying.

I like the album. It is so cool to have roxette back. And I am proud. My 16-year-old sister told me that she wants to have the album. She’s normally listening to R n B and HipHop. It is a very very cool feeling t o know that Roxette is “IN”...

I too am glad the album sounds the way it does.
If all Roxette’s albums were the same it would be boring....

I see Roxette seems to be taking Europe by storm...almost in the top 5 position in almost every country!! hahahaha

Does anybody know where and when the 5 remixes of SGNOBTR will be availabe for download?? Roxette Blog doesn’t say... They only say the remixes will be available in a day or this on

@CoyRoy I actually like “Happy Together” It sounds far more serious than we all think, Maybe you just don’t relate to the story in the song or you dislike anything else about it. “Cooper” was on the other hand the strange misterious track on HAND, knowing exactly who Cooper was it’s a mistery ... and probably for being a mistery and because thinking requires a lot of hardwork, yeah maybe a lot of people disconnected from it. Being a joke? To be a Joke it would have to be really crappy like hell. I don’t think any of them are that low-bad-level. I agree with you however on the Per’s solo middle eight on Glad You Called ... I still feel that the echoing vocals from Helena on his own solo version were class and beautiful. He kinda ruined that beauty here. But in overall Marie’s vocal performance saves the song and keeps intact the essence and emotion of it.

I like Per’s part in IGYC, except the last note, he should not have sung that high note, IMHO :-(

@PiterPam I’d also love to see “Speak To Me” being released as a single. Everybody says this is a ballad ...why am I the only one who labels this as strong midtempo song. The ballads on the album for me are only 4 honestly LOL “No One”, “In My Own Way” (which is mu 2nd favourite), “I’m Glad You Called” (my absolute favourite) and “Sitting On Top Of The World” (which remains for me the most boring ending track of any Roxette album although I praise its “1986”-ish vibe in it).
As for singles I have the very strong feeling “No One ..” will be the “ballad-single” which for me it’s OK but seriously not my choice of ballad-single as I would go for the even more powerful “In My Own Way” ... but hey ... in the Rox nothing is ever the way we would like to.

I also don’t like that “falsetto” and he used and abused of those falsetto throughout these last 7 years of solo albums to point where I could almost kill myself LOL I agree he shouldn’t have sung that part that way. Again ... what Helena did in the original version was magical.

I like Per’s falsetto in Sakta Mina Stag. I’m neutral about his falsetto in Come On and Stuck Here With Me... but this one note in IGYC just isn’t my cup of tea

Think the reviewers here a very lukewarm. I think this is a wonderful and mature offering from Roxette, which makes it really stand up towards their best albums. After “Room Service” (which for me was really hit and miss) and some lukewarm reviews of their danish concert last year, I was really not sure what to expect, but thankfully this lives up to the high standards of Per’s brilliant “Party Crasher”.

There’s only one song I really don’t dig at all - Big Black Cadillac. All the others have something to offer, and I love that the sound is so diverse as it is. Highlights for me are She’s Got Nothing On, Way Out (brilliant opener), Only When I Dream, Dream On / After All (yeah, it’s like a tandem), and not least the AMAZING closing duo of Happy On The Outside and Sitting On Top Of The World - two instant Roxette classics to me.

For me, this probably ranks as their third best album, after Joyride and Have A Nice Day, and being second to those albums is certainly no shame at all, as these rank among my all-time ever favorite pop albums.

“Happy Together” has a fantastic “story” Per tries to tell with it. But what the hell is up with that terrible musical arrangement. It sounds like a bad demo. That’s the only problem I have with it. It sounds cheap and rushed and it sounds like the type of song you make right before you kill yourself. Hahaha

“Cooper” is one of the worst songs EVER recorded by any artist on any planet!!

I think “Charm School” is also, on my list anyways, as their 3rd best album.
CBB and Joyride comes first and second, respectively, then Charm School.
Then i’ll take Look Sharp! in 4th place and Baladas En Espanol in 5th place. Tourism is 6th, HAND is 7th, Room Service is 8th and POP is 9th....

Just an idea...If Per translate a few of his Mazarin songs and put live drums on the demo of “Something In The System”, and take all the songs from TWATG and let Marie sing a few of those uptempo songs, and mix it with Charm School, and throw in A Thing About You - then we will probably have the BEST pop album EVER released on this planet!!

@CoyRoy ... good point!

Some years ago, I also thought, they could make a kinda “recycle”-album with songs of TWATG (first and formost I’llBeAlright with Marie on lead vox), SOAP and different swedish solo-projects of MF and PG ... Why not record english versions of “Tro”, “OmDuBaraVill” or “Spegelboll”?

I would def. enjoy “ROXETTE RECOVERED” ;-)

@CoyRoy LOL We’ve all had such kind of idea of blending the best songs recorded after 1995-96 to try to come up with the “IDEAL” Roxette album. I remember how mixed everyone was with both Have A Nice Day and Room Service that everyone tried to pick their best ones from each to make a much better album. After a while I realized that such approach was a bit silly. No matter what each album was what it was and that’s it. The same things goes for “Charm School” it is what it is. And all of this happens because these records have been “strong criticized by us all” online ... in the “Look Sharp!”, “Joyride” and “CBB” eras we didnt have Internet to say what we thought - in fact - we were all too much entertained but the great music each record offered and we didn’t think that somewhere on the other side of this planet someone else loves these records for completely different reasons. But now that we can exchage those opinions the downside of it was that the 2 previous albums were severly “trated” like trash in many way never never ever having a story we could relate to. We spent most of our time trashing them and sometimes with some hidden joy. Is that what a music fan does? Well not me at least. There are good things and bad things on each album ... but we spent too much time analysing and over-analysing HAND and RS excessively. I can only but wish CS does not have to go through such mean ordeal ... it’s more than a welcoming album after so many years and after Per’s statement “the chances were almost zero”. We should be glad about the music and change our attitude about it. PS. I actually prefer POP to Look Sharp in terms of melodies and hooks ... for me Look Sharp was like the HAND of 1988 with too dancy songs, too much computer-ish production (but clearly not overproduced and not as messy as HAND was) and besides the 4 big singles no more than 2 or 3 great albums tracks. In overall LS is not my fav or any close to that.

@ Joyrider: The idea in a dream-Roxette-recycled-old-songs-album is like I said to CoyRoy it’s just a bit over the top. We all have all our favourites songs from each album and aslo from each solo album but putting everything together sounds a bit silly to me and probably it would damage the “original” songs if reworked and rewritten with English lyrics. No let them be the way they are ...
But one thing is certain: Charm School does have a lot of Per’s solo musicality of the past 7 years included which is nothing new for a Roxette album. Anything solo Per or Marie did would end up at least have one big input on the follow-up Roxette album. “Dream On” and “After All” are the result of what he did in both Mazarin, SOAP and EHM ... and maybe I could include PC here too. I remember when I heard “Beautiful Things” it sounded very much inspired in sound with what Marie did with “Tro” and this was not the first time. We all remember that “Half A Woman, Half A Shadow” sounded like a track that could have been included on Marie’s “Efter Stormen” and “Watercolours In The Rain” sounded like a profecy to what Marie ended up giving on her “Den Standigen Resan”. So in many ways we all have each individual musicality included on every album (except this time we don’t have any contribution for Marie, but the power of her voice and emotion conpensate the lack of her songwrting).

@ RoXoR If Ace Of Base did actually cover themselves over and over again I would stupidly be happy about it ... but judging on their last offer ... I would rather kill myself LOL I agree it’s great Roxette never sounded the same from one album to another. And yes Roxette fans have a problem with that: some wanted a new “Joyride” other want a new “CBB” others didnt really mind having another “HAND” bla bla bla and all that because they don’t pay attention to details those details that help understanding what is the real Roxette musicallity and that goes far beyond the “drums” the “electric guitars” ... it’s a question of listening and understanding those “details”. Roxette fans as far as I’ve noticed hardly express their opinion on melody and interpretation of the lyrics or vocal performance. It’s all about the way they play the instruments and the way the songs are produced. Errr ... Maybe being a fan of instrumentals would be a much more honest choice than being a Roxette fan? LOL

Well, both of you guys make a few GREAT points!!

I thought I was the only one who take the time to go lie on my sofa and put on a Roxette cd and close my eyes and just “take it all in”. I try to listen to every sound and every breath and every note that comes out and I try to FEEL what the song is about and, I must say, Roxette has always been GREAT at creating instant enjoyable melodies. That catches me first. And I think they make the best ballads on the planet. I’m a sucker for a SAD love song....Even though I’m not a sad person....hahaha

Let’s take a song like “The Rain” or “What’s She Like?”....I love it when Marie sings so emotionaly and the guitars, hardly hearable, “scratches” along with her voice. It creates a new dimension in the song, and it takes me to a place where I feel good, even though the song might be sad. And you can believe what Marie sings. For me, music isn’t just about listening to a good song, but I really go analyse the song and the vocals. I like to hear what’s going on in all levels of the song. And Roxette’s music has so many levels....just an ordinary song have such hidden sounds in the background that we hardly notice. It’s genius!!

I love that last part of “Sleeping In My Car” - right at the very end when the drums and guitars go bashing and when the last drum hit, Per whispers “baby-babe” and then someone laughs....That’s SO cool. And on “Run To You” where Marie sings...”There’s not a sound, I can’t help but listening....”, Per whispers in the background “there’s not a sound”..... It’s so touching and it makes Roxette’s music 3 Dimensional. They don’t just do stupid bubblegum songs and sad ballads, they create ART!!!!! I think “Fireworks” has been the most “creative” song Per ever made. There is SO much going on in the background....Classy!
Geniusly done!!

So, to end this “pointless” novel, I can’t wait to go and put on my earphones and listen to what Roxette REALLY created with this new album. I’m sure there are a lot of hidden sounds and stuff in the background.

@CoyRoy: I definitively agree with everything you said and thank you for bringing back songs like “The Rain” and “What’s She Like” which are among my absolute favourites. The only thing I cannot agree with is that this “pointless” novel that began in 1999 when HAND was released will carry on and on and on and on ... LOL Because let’s put it this way ... Roxette fans are too damn different fromn one another and we all have a hard time dealing with different opinions than ours (we may not admit it but we do have that hardship) and for that reason we will never agree on what we feel for every album. It should be a good enriching thing but instead became more a ridiculous novel ... and with a new album now such novel will never end. We have to either ignore it and give room to the music ... or we will just linger into the novel forgetting the music. It’s one thing or the other. Blame it on the internet if u want to LOL

@Rox_Nox2003: hahaha...I actually meant that what I wrote was getting so long, it seemed like a “novel” that goes nowhere....But I understand totally what you are saying.

I haven’t been on the internet when HAND was released, so, I didn’t really know what people said. All I know is that basically ALL Roxette’s albums was a step in some direction. Testing the water, and I think, and it’s only my opinion, I think CBB and Joyride and Charm School is the types of albums that define Roxette most.But to keep in that direction would be a waste of time and talent. Haha..

But i must say, Roxette is NOT a techno band, that’s why I don’t think songs like 7Twenty7, You Can’t Put Your Arms....and Stars are highlights. Roxette sounds weird when they put on the techno suit. I do think they do “electronic” music well, like BBC!! GREAT song!

But, I mentioned this a while back - Roxette is a “product” that we are buying. It’s like people being a BMW or Mercedes fan. They are FANS, but they don’t like everything BMW or Mercedes produce. Same with Roxette. So, you will get less satisfied fans and you will get overwhelmed fans and you will get luke-warm fans and then you get the anti-christ. Wahaaaa.....

Don’t bite off my head for calling Roxette a “product” again, people. I’m only trying to explain. And in fact, it’s true. Music is a business that “cells” and exploits their artists as products. face it.... but it’s not the point. Hahaha

day 2.
My Charm School top 12.
01. Speak to Me- I have been waiting for this since forever.
02 Way Out- so cool
03. Dream On- I love the feeling this one left me with.
04 Shes Got nothing On- it has really been growing on me. Love the speed in this song.
05Im Glad You Called- beautiful.
06 Sitting On The top Of the world- another grower.
07 Big black Cadillac- new Roxettesound.
08No One Makes it On her Own- I like the backing vocals. Sounds like the LTYH-melody:P
09 In My Own Way
10 Happy On The Outside
11Only When I Dream - sorry Per... Dancing on a nightwire or reaching High would have been better choises.
12 After All. dont do anything for me at all....yet :)

@CoyRoy I also never ever thought of them as being “techno” actually when I remember people going insane and angry about the so-called “techno sounds” or like u said “techno suit” on the HAND album I just had to laugh... try showing that album to a true techno lover or a DJ at a club LOL They would make u feel so embarassed LOL So yeah in 1999 they just tried to modernize things for a change but calling “7Twenty7” or “You Can’t Put Your Arms...” techno-tracks ... is like calling the queen of England, the greatest bitch next door LOL So yeah the production on those songs and I’m also including “Stars” (the forever love me-hate me song!) was a bit more eletronic to the point of sounding too over the top which probably was a mistake. Funny enough I never minded about it on Crush On You because I like it like that ... it’s addictive makes me feel crazy that’s how I wanted to be like ... that power pop crazy tune with silly lyrics and a powerful Marie yelling at me “GOT A CRUUUSH...” LOL I love it LOL That beat drives me mad mad mad mad mad ... LOL With 7Twenty7 and You Can’t Put I wished that these 2 were more produced in a closer sound to what Per did on his World According solo album. If you listen to the demo of 7-20-7 that feeling just increases because that is how most of us wished it should have been. And then with Per performing it live on his solo tour just makes u wonder “why per why per ... when a live recording with drums and guitars sounds so much more you and roxette than this computer-beat?”. Then “You Can’t Put Your Arms” great tune, funny lyric and funny melody ... I laughed when the minomoog came in the middle LOOL But the whole “hiphop” scratch production was modern but again ... not very Roxettish ... I love the song this way never really bothered me. So saying HAND is techno instead of saying HAND was more eletronic influenced is just embarassing just comes to show that many Roxette fans have no clue what eletronica is like.

Roxette’s TV performance on “Wetten, dass...?”

Backstage interview with Per before the show:

Wonderful interview with Per.

That interviewer did a good job not asking the same old stupid stuff. Per looked excited!

Great stuff! Thumbs up!!!!!

I just wanted to say that the album version of 7twenty7 is the best uptempo I’ve ever heard in my life! The demo is just a simple rocky number, but the album verison, that’s screaming guitars combined with 99 electronica, killer combination for me. I hope I’m not the only one

Lol!! That’s my favourite track of Per’s too!!!

I sooooo can’t wait to get my paws on this album!! I miss u guyz soooo much!!! I so hope that u guyz tour Australia, coz I haven’t been 2 a concert since I had kids, lol!! That’s over 4yrs now, lol!! I am dying to see Roxette in concert again. Love u guyz!!!!

I always thought 7/20/7-album is such a bad production. For me it’s the best example between the demo and final-version, how a production can go wrong!

The demo is one of my all time favorites, the album-version is just sooo bad.

By the way.....has anyone heard the TERRIBLE remixes of “She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)”?????

I always loved Roxette’s remixes, and I must say these 5 remixes are just SHIT!!

I get goosebumps to see Roxette’s album selling so well... I hope it will reach at least the 5million mark (and of course, beyond!).

@ WICF and @PiterPam: This is gonna be tricky but i agree and disagree with both you at the same time. How can I explain myself? If at the beginning when HAND came out I was not that much amazed with the “fast-eletro-dance-rock” production on 7-20-7 I ended up grewing up loving it after a while which always happens to me because if the production was not what I hoped for, I cannot say that I dislike the groove and the melody and the rocky vibe. No wonder Per brought it back on set for his solo concerts that’s because the song itself has a lot of live potential even if the 99 album production was probably not the most flattering in Roxette standards. Then the demo came out ... I was so upset and angry ... and then I just laughed ... like thinking ... well at least we all get the song in both ways “the way most of us never liked it” and in “the way most of us wished it should have been”, At the end of the day, taste apart, I grew up loving both versions: after all is the same song, the same energy, the same coolness ... one with dance beats and synths spread all over the place, the other one following the “SIMC” road. We get both worlds let’s put it that way and choose to be closer the one we feel it says more to us ... or we choose to jump from one to another depending on one’s mood :)

@ CoyRoy I haven’t heard them yet but ur negative vibe on them does not help arghhh ... I also agree the radio mix of Stonebridge on TCOTH and the bombastic fav dub almighty of Stars are among my favourite remixes ever done. But yes there is quite a very good feedback on Roxette now with the new album and their “comeback”, Let’s all hope it carried on like that for as long as it can be possible. They are not trendy as Rihanna and Gaga but hey ... they have their place somewhere in the line.

PS: (one hour later!!)
I found all those 5 remixes: opinion? If I were at a club bagging my head till i drop on the floor after grooving to these beats I would never ever in a millions years would get that these were Roxette remixes. Dreadful work! If you wana remix a song at least you should take more advantange of the song’s original melody and not glue the chorus in parts of the remix that just don’t make any sence and have no connection to the original song. Even my niece does better craft school work than this :( :( :(

@Rox_Nox2003: Yea, I like really ALL the previous remixes, of which Stars and especially Knockin’ On Every Door were the best, to me. But these 5 remixes are really really really terrible. I, for one, can’t get enough of remixes and Roxette always had good taste, but this is just shit. Can’t put it in another way.

if I were to be in a club and these songs played, I’d have to be overly drunk to enjoy them. When you’re drunk you won’t even give a shit what song it is anyway. hahahah......

No....So, apart from Per’s little “middle-eight” in “I’m Glad You Called”, I think these remixes are the worst part of all this new Roxette stuff that’s happening.

Yeap the Per’s solo on “I’m Glad You Called” does not suit the song at all. When I go back to his solo recorded version on Crasher all I can say is that Helena’s echoing backing vocals were stunning. I just wish that her vocals were kept for this version but that would mean producing the song in a way that would not be acoustic and straightforward simple and like Per said he was not happy with his album “production”-version. It’s sad because “I’m Glad I’m Called” is the best ballad on the “CBB”-vein he has ever done (better than Anyone that’s for sure and clearly more emotional and interesting than the weirdo-fairytale-misterious-whatthefuckishesingingabout “Cooper” LOL)

@Rox_Nox2003: hahaha, you make me laugh. I like your description of Cooper. I named my new Dachshund puppy “Cooper” and i’m sorry to say, she’s a bigger hit than the song. Hahaha....

You know, I think 2 of the best “sad” acoustic songs Roxette made were “So Far Away” from Tourism and “Never Is A Long Time” - those songs can make you cry!! And this new version of “I’m Glad You Called” is right next to those songs - if only Per kept his mouth shut....hahahaha

I must say that I’m not a big fan of this album. In my opinion, there’s not enough Marie’s vocals, and especially I miss one or two uptempo tracks by Marie. There’s too many average songs, which are not bad, but they are not catchy or good either. I like the overall sound of this album very much, because it fits to Roxette nicely, but the album as a whole lacks energy. Few uptempo bangers and few catchy power ballads would have made the album so much better.

The vinyl is definitely different. No One Makes... is around 14 seconds longer and S2M is slower, not much but definitely slower.

On the “Cooper” topic. I’ve always thought this was quite an interesting song... positively interesting. Of course it’s not a radio hit and you surely can’t listen to it lots of times in a row, but I think - technically - it does kick some ass: There’s some clever key changes in the melody and the string arrangement by Clarence (and Chris?) proves that their talent can yield far more than power chords. I do respect (and somewhat understand) your opinion, but this is just to say that Cooper is not crap but probably just a bit too classical and sophisticated for a pop song. PS: I quite like the mysterious “What the hell is he on about?” lyrics :)

And btw: CS gets 8/10 from me. Maybe slightly too slow in the end - there should have been another rocker - and a bit too short. My 2 cents. Cheers!

@ Mr Jefferson I actually like the ending part of Cooper ... Marie’s echoing vocals on “May I ask who’s calling” sound divine .. what I personally find less interesting on the song is the overall melody and mostly Per’s vocals for some reason ... the song lyricallywise is complex and misterious you just don’t understand it that much. Who’s Cooper? What happened to him? The song itself does not gives us those answers? However the orchestral background very much as in the CBB ballad is stunning and it sounds like a winter farytale with a very dark and obscure story. Really weird. It’s a very strange song we just don’t know what to think of it.

As for the low album ratings from some fans I can only find one justification from Per when it comes to all that that we lack on it (the power pop hooks, the uptempo Marie tracks, more dramatic ballads, etc) I can hear him say it over and over again like he did in 2001 for the Room Service album : “We do get tired of ourselves sometimes!” LOL I guess we fans never get tired ... but they do! :S

@tevensso: Could you tell me the running time of STM on the vinyl? Thanx :)

It’s not much different, maybe 1 second longer. From what I can tell it is about 1 bpm slower.

Fianlly I could listen to the whole album a bunch of times and I definitely like it and the neighbour will definetely hate it soon after playing it so many times loud enough. As some of you say, at the first listening there are some songs which do not seem something out of the ordinary, but there are also others which (for me) stand out from the begininnig - the single, Way out, Speak to me, Dream on, I’m glad you called, After all. Most of the others need another few listenings but given the meaniningful lyrics in most of them and the way Per & Marie sing - I can only say, thanx for the album and see you live!!!

Wait for me!! I have an opinion too! My copy of CS just got to me here in the US a week ago from Bengans. As usual with a new Roxette album, I’ve given it some time to soak in and swirl around my head for a week before pronouncing my feelings on it.

Yes, it’s too short (I can listen to almost the whole thing on the way to work), and yes, there shouldn’t be two slow Marie-ballads in a row to end up with, and yes, it’s missing a Marie-power song, and yes, “Dream On” and “After All” sound like leftovers from SOAP...which doesn’t bother me a bit because SOAP is my favorite album of all time now. All minor quibbles. This album is a work of art! So nice to fall in love with an album so soon after becoming acquainted with opposed to RS and even HAND.

Thanks to the moderators for your reviews.


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