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High-D (Finland) – The 80s Song (single)

High-D is Heidi. Well that figures. In full she is Heidi M. Mantere and she’s colourful in every sense of the word, and especially on her website, which is chock full of information and graphics.

I was attracted to this particular song of hers, ‘The 80s Song’, her latest and released on New Year’s Day, because I seem to have written quite a lot about the 1980s just recently. It was in the opinion of many the greatest decade for popular music.

And High-D thinks so too. She grew up in the 1980s after all and what she has tried to do is to nail what that decade was all about by way of the melody, the beat, the sounds and the lyrics in what is a brief return to the past.

Name-dropping some of the songs of that era helps as well and both The Eurythmics and Kate Bush respectively show up by way of the lines “Sweet dreams are made of these believes” (I’m not quite sure what that line means!) and “all music videos and scenes like wuthering heights” (sic) (1978 but we’ll overlook that!) which occurs in a verse that also references MTV, which launched in 1981, and which she mentions by way of part of Dire Straits’ line “I want my MTV” from ‘Money for Nothing’.

And that isn’t to mention I still haven’t found my walk of life”, (Dire Straits again, I guess they are one of Heidi’s favourites)“My first, my last, my everything”(Barry White from 1974), “Thrilled to meet someone I wanna dance with” (Whitney Houston I guess), “I just wanna have fun” (Cyndi Lauper) and a brilliant passing reference to “mad Donna”.

And there are probably more of these allusions that I’ve missed.

In fact you could probably make a ‘guess the artist’ party game out of ‘The 80s Song’.

Stylistically the music falls somewhere between new wave, disco, electro pop and ABBA. It’s catchy and you’ll want to hear it again.

It throws in all sorts of weird 80’s noises that you’d forgotten about, like ‘noises off’ in a Shakespearean play, and that peculiar boing-boing sound that was supposed to represent a heart beating like a drum, in Kelly Marie’s ‘Feels like I’m in Love’, not to mention a violin bridge.

More importantly, Heidi evidently believes in the music of that era and that shines out throughout this song.

One piece of advice I might offer is to sharpen up the English lyrics, perhaps to employ a bilingual songwriter to make suggestions as some of the lines are non-sequiturs or, such as “not giving degree”, are difficult to decipher. Many Nordic artists do that and it pays dividends.

Pekka Saukkonen: music, mixing and mastering

Heidi Marjaana Mantere: lyrics, arrangement, vocals & violin

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