September, née Petra Marklund, is a Swedish songwriter and singer, commonly listed under the genres pop, dance-pop, eurodance, and electropop. She is best known in the American market for the single, Cry For You.
Yet, in a world dominated by American pop, those terms mean very little to the majority of this blog’s readers. So, to this end…
- Think early Cascada (Truly, Madly, Deeply) electronic, except the synth is softer and more rounded– so called “bell-synth”. What comes out isn’t a more “pop” sound, but more retro, deeply identified with eurodance.
- Think Christina Aguilera’s vocals, flavored with Cascada vocals, and a tiny bit of Lady Gaga’s nasal voice. Despite all the electronic music, September is a belting queen. Perfect pronunciation, like Cascada (the vocalist is German). September uses minimal autotune.
- Think Britney Spears’ Femme Fatale‘s deeply catchy hooks. Off the top of my head, from her latest album, Love CPR: Resuscitate me, I’m begging you please / I’m like a bullet, bullet, I’m gonna ricochet / Be my intimate connection / A one-track mind, in the land of bump and grind / I don’t care if the whole club is dead, the party’s in my head.
At first, these comparisons had me scratching my head; they seem like a good cocktail for moderate success in America. Cry For You was released in 2006, and she just released Love CPR in February 2011. Why hasn’t Love CPR at least received significant clubplay?
September’s stylistic repertoire is very narrow. What is on Love CPR could have been part of In Orbit, an album released in 2005. Stylistically, she sounds almost the same from album to album. Of course, she did some transitioning from electronic to current bell-synth, but this is very subtle. I love her sound, so I don’t have a problem with staying in distinctly a europop zone, but in a pop world continuously on the search for a new sound, she falters. Of course, she was ahead of the game in the early 2000s, but now that fascination with bell-synth has passed, her success has come mostly from Sweden, and Europe (most notably, the UK). I remember listening to her first-ever released single, La La La (Never Give it Up) (2003), and being so surprised on how contemporary it seemed.
The other reason is September’s voice. I’m sad to say that it falls under stock europop– for a time I had trouble telling her apart from Infernal; Westernized listeners would almost certainly confuse her with Cascada. Of course, I can pick September out because I’ve listened to her very avidly, but in the wider market, this is not the case.
Not to say September doesn’t deserve more listeners. Alternatively, at least more clubplay. She consistently produces great dance music, and though she may not have ‘superstar’ requirements, she’s a definite supplement to those who loved Lady Gaga’s The Fame and early Cascada.
Judge for yourself. A few different samples from various albums:
Resuscitate Me, album: Love CPR, 2011
Satellites (acoustic live), album: September, 2003
Freaking Out, album: Dancing Shoes, 2006
note: I always listen to this during stressful periods. Because I am a freaker-out.
Heat Rising, album: Love CPR, 2011
Michelle is tentatively scheduling a study abroad in England in 2012-2013. Guess who’s going clubbing extensively until she finds a discotheque that blasts September? To-do #1.