In the weeks ahead of his Eurovision 2015 win, Måns Zelmerlöw put the finishing touches on his fourth studio album, Perfectly Damaged. The album — out June 8 — follows in the very deep tracks laid by “Heroes”. It makes its mark as a decent pop album and another sound step in Måns’ music career. His success at Eurovision was not a one-off.
Måns’ new album gets off to a strong start, with the first three songs (“Stir It Up”, “Heroes” and “Someday”) being about as perfect an opening as anyone could wish for.
You can still hear the indie rock sound of Måns’ previous album The Barcelona Sessions, but without the overly earnest tone that threatened to turn that album into a cure for insomnia. There’s been obvious inspiration taken from the anthemic sound of “Heroes”, giving the album a sometimes very full-on feeling.
That’s both the greatest strength and weakness of Perfectly Damaged. When the big songs hit their mark, it’s pop perfection. When they don’t, it’s just more shouting. The album’s weaker tracks all work as individual songs, but in the context of the album, at times there’s a lack of variety. But sooner or later a killer hook comes along and all is forgiven.
It’s because of this that one of the album’s stand-out tracks is one of the less shouty ones. “Should’ve Gone Home” seems to directly address Måns’ well publicised history of philandering and his realisation that screwing around isn’t always the answer. It’s a tale of romance and regret and he delivers it with heartfelt emotion.
Other highlights include the decent anthem “Fade Away” and the very disco sounding “Unbreakable”, which is reminiscent of the stuff Daft Punk recently did with Giorgio Moroder crossed with a bit of Bruno Mars. In other words, there’s no shortage of potential singles.
But the stand-out track is “Someday”, one of the two tracks co-written by Måns and the “Heroes” songwriters. With its moody, dirty sexual synth pop vibe, as well as being super catchy, the song’s sound makes it one of the few tracks that sounds solidly rooted in 2015. It’s so good that it makes up for the dud tracks. Seriously, this has to be the next single.
For a Eurovision winner, the two worst scenarios are to either rush out a hastily produced album or to wait so long that the artist loses the momentum from their win. Perfectly Damaged is neither, and the hardworking Måns has made a decent album to launch his pop career in Europe.