"With "Joyride" album, "Have a Nice Day" is one of the best albums from the swedish duo Roxette. They allow themselves to try with new sounds, more up to date, without losing their basis. Songs like "Stars", "7twenty7" or "Crush on you" show this new sound. Even many ballads like "Wish i could fly", "Salvation" or "I was so lucky" have some kind of state-of-the-art sound. Singles choice may be not the best for a good promotion of this album; but for sure if you like pop music, you'll enjoy this piece. "
Roxette rocks yet! This album made me a fan!
lighten_up_already2 | Kirkland, WA USA | 10/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Two ears are barely enough to appreciate this power-pop tour de force. I thought Roxette was a one-hit-wonder but somehow I surfed into this CD a few weeks back and I noticed that even a used copy cost more than most CDs do when they are new. Then I read the rave reviews and listened to the sound samples and decided to pony up the big bucks and buy this disc.
Boy am I glad I did! This CD is quite literally worth its weight in gold to me. It must be one of the great power-pop albums of all time. To me, this represents the culmination of Roxette's approach to music much the same way Pet Sounds represents the culmination of the Beach Boys' approach. And, like Pet Sounds, when I start listening to this CD it's very difficult to stop without listening to the end. I wouldn't call this a "concept" album per se, but it is well paced and balanced between serveral styles all in the greater genre called "power pop".
This album really has it all. You've got the hard driving dance-pop sounds of Crush On You and 7 Twenty 7, both of which I didn't want to like but I finally gave in and admitted to myself that they rocked. If you like power ballads, this album has Roxette doing what they do best (in my opinion it's the 70's style power ballad style where Roxette really stands out) in Wish I Could Fly, Anyone, Salavation, and the more subdued and gorgeous I Was So Lucky.
Then there's the wonderfully catchy Waiting for The Rain which is the kind of song you'd hear played on the radio every hour back in the 60's. And, I really grew to like the quirky euro-pop Stars. It sounds like something Abba would have done. And there's more! There's not a single throwaway track on this album.
The greatness of Roxette, in my opinion, is that they sound just like most of the music I've listened to over the past thirty years or so, only just a bit better. Most every song on this album reminds me of something I've heard and enjoyed before, but Roxette does it all just a little bit more thoughtfully and professionally than most everyone else. They've got a sound that is very polished and yet fun and spontaneous at the same time. Marie Fredriksson is definitely a superior rock vocalist who really makes you believe that she believes what she's singing. Their lyrics are just a bit more clever than most lyrics you find in this type of music. At first I found it annoying when Per Gessle took the lead vocal, as I'm partial to female vocalists, but his sound grew on me as I listened to this album.
This album sounds like it was a real labor of love, and as the song says, "I Was So Lucky" that I surfed into it."
File under fun
Ethan Straffin | Palo Alto, CA USA | 08/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There's a place for this stuff. It's definitely not for when you're intent on running for office and changing the world; it's for when the sun is shining and you just want to smile and forget for the moment how much the people you've elected are Not Helping.
Marie and Per are very good at granting such a wish. They rank right up there with both Andy and Vince and Neil and Chris in the realm of the great Europop duos, and this is probably their finest outing.
It has been suggested to me that my credibility as a musicologist has been somewhat diminished by the fact that I regard "7 Twenty 7" as one of the great songs of all time. So be it. The joy that these shameless purveyors of pop pageantry are capable of bringing in the space of three or four minutes is undeniable."
A Nearly Flawless Emotional Journey In Music! Roxette's Mas
Jason W. Bellenger | Byron Center, Michigan, USA | 03/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Roxette is Marie Fredriksson & Per Gessle. 'Have A Nice Day' Produced by Clarence Ofwerman, Michael Ilbert, Marie Fredriksson, & Per Gessle for Roxette Recordings. 1999 Roxette Recordings under exclusive license to EMI Svenska AB. Recorded at El Cortijo, Marbella; Polar, Stockholm; Cosmos, Stockholm; and Atlantis, Stockholm between January and October 1998. Engineer: Michael Ilbert. Assistant engineer: Lennart Haglund. Mixed at Mono Music, Stockholm: August - November 1998 by Clarence, Michael, Per, & Marie. Mix engineer: Michael Ilbert. Mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound, New York City. UPC: 7 24349 88532 5
First of all, I'm usually not one to review an album. Most of the time I review compilations based on sound quality, tracklistings, and packaging. However, I do make exceptions for exceptional albums. Roxette's 1999 studio album is one exception!
'Have A Nice Day', released in late February 1999 was, as far as I'm concerned, quite a controversial release among the fans at the time. I did not discover the album until late 2000 after realizing that Roxette were still together after hearing "Wish I Could Fly" on a local radio station here in the U.S. After sampling a number of the tracks on the Internet I just knew that I had to get the album. I still remember the negative buzz still surrounding the album around my time of discovery, some of the reviews taking a stab at the lyrics and the ballads. I suppose many fans viewed it as a lightweight, cheesy kind of release after the heavy sound of their previous studio album, 'Crash! Boom! Bang!' 'Have A Nice Day' presented a more adult contemporary sound in many ways, focusing more so on piano and strings instead of electric guitars for the most part. The album cover and design are very silly, but what about the music?
Ten years after it's original release I have to admit that 'Have A Nice Day', in my opinion, is still Roxette's best album. The album takes me on an emotional rollercoaster, touching mostly upon love, breakups, crushes, loneliness, and the ups and downs of relationships. Surely this is nothing new when it comes to music, but does anyone do it better than Roxette?
The production is crisp and beautiful, top notch from start to finish! I think that the elaborate, clean production elements make this album stand out above all other Roxette albums and most albums in general. It's a bright, colorful, shiny release even on the sad songs. The record is crammed with lush arrangements, soaring vocals, and unforgettable melodies. EVERY song has a hook!
The album starts with "Crush On You" (words & music by Per Gessle), a gem that many fans to this day still claim should have been a single release. Apparently the track was originally planned as a single -- rumored to be single no. 5 -- but never came to be, probably after the mediocre reaction to fourth single, "Salvation". I think that many fans were hoping for it to be the second single over "Anyone". Since "Anyone" didn`t exactly light the charts on fire maybe it would have been a better move?
"Crush On You" is all over the place lyrically. Gessle sings in one verse, "Got dead flies in my scotch with ice | My talents always vaporize | I want your bird of paradise" before Marie jumps in with the "I got a crush got a crush on you" chorus. Pure pop perfection! A personal favorite. Yep, it should have been a single. 10/10. Then again, so many others should have been as well. Read on.
First single "Wish I Could Fly" (words & music by Per Gessle) follows as the second track on the album. What a brilliant piece of music! Wow! Absolutely brilliant!!! "Wish I Could Fly" is one of those gems that stands above most other ballads in Roxette's vast catalogue of music. Remember what I said about the production? The drum loop, strings, acoustic guitars, and bass coincide in order to create a mysterious feel that matches the lyrics seamlessly. And let's not forget that Marie Fredriksson gives one of the best vocal performances of her career! Then again, Marie can sing anything and make it sound amazing.
My favorite part is at 2:45 in which the drum loop stops and the music resembles a plane's engine before jumping back into the drum loop. Absolutely incredible! Then we have the beautiful climax of the song, the best part, in my opinion: "I wish I could fly | Around and around | Over this town | The dirt on the ground | I'd follow your course | Of doors left ajar | To try to find out | Who you really are". I love the lyric and the emotional pull in this part of the song. Listen how the strings match Marie's vocal in "over this town". It grabs you! Feel those chills run down your spine.
The song became a huge sales smash and massive radio hit, the 7th most played song in Europe in 1999 while charting very well throughout the world on the singles chart -- #2 Denmark, #2 Argentina, #4 Sweden, #4 Brazil, #9 Finland, #10 Italy, #11 UK, #11 Austria, #12 Switzerland, and #14 Norway. The song even made a dent on the U.S. charts in the later half of 2000, breaking the Adult Top 40 (#40) and Adult Contemporary charts (#27) on the independent Edel America label. "Wish I Could Fly" is my favorite Roxette ballad and one of my favorite recordings of all time. 10/10.
Track three is "You Can't Put Your Arms Around What's Already Gone" (words & music by Per Gessle), an uptempo piece of electronic-based music. It has quite an '80s vibe going on, which gives it bonus points on my part. I must admit that I was not always that fond of this song, mostly because it comes across as a bit too cheesy -- the whole "baba b-baba b-baba ba" parts. Funny stuff! Maybe this is where the fans had a problem? But I love the lyrics, especially the part in which the album was named: "Took the tram 'round the bay | Where everyone tells you to have a nice day". Overall, it's still a catchy track with such silly lyrics as "Now you drive me real crazy just by being born" and "You used to kiss like no one had done before". Baba b-baba! Sing along. 9/10.
"Waiting For The Rain" (words & music by Marie Fredriksson), track four, is a loud, intense listening experience! Yep, that is Marie playing piano! The song is one of those epic recordings, with a '60s retro sound, that builds and builds into the smashing chorus of drums, tambourine, guitars, trumpet, trombone, strings, horns, and so forth. It gets really loud! Yet, it's so well done! Everything fits together so well, making "Waiting For The Rain" a highlight on the album even if the chorus is filled with "Na na na na na" bits. Marie sings: "The day you left me | The day you came | I'll never forget you | Feel you in my pain | The time stood still | The time was flying | I wonder why I'm not dying". The music is the shining moment here. I love this! 10/10.
Then there's "Anyone" (words & music by Per Gessle), track number five, the second single release from the project, originally slated to be the first single. I think that Roxette and company were really expecting a massive single with this one, maybe as big as some of their earlier number one hits like "Listen To Your Heart" and "It Must Have Been Love". "Anyone" is the kind of song that is set up to sound big on the radio with it's huge production and killer chorus. Once you hear this song you will immediately think "hit single" -- well, at least I did!
Another intense production of piano and strings and a slow rhythm pattern of drums make this a favorite. The song builds so beautifully into the chorus, simplifying to just Marie over piano in the first verse: "Anyone who have a love close to this knows what I'm saying | Anyone who wants a dream to come true knows how I'm feeling | All I can think of is you and me doing the things that I wanna do | All I imagine is heaven on earth I know it's you". Then there's the second verse, my favorite part: "Anyone who ever kissed in the rain knows the whole meaning". Everything flows so well in this song before exploding in the chorus: "Anyone who felt like I do | Anyone who wasn't ready to fall".
Unfortunately, despite becoming a radio hit in a number of territories throughout the world, the song did not live up to expectations on the singles charts, barely making the Top Forty in major markets -- #30 in Switzerland and #35 in Sweden. However, Denmark really felt the heartbreak, charting a spot higher than "Wish I Could Fly" by landing at #1! At least some people got it. "Anyone" eventually made an appearance on Roxette: The Ballad Hits in 2002 and Roxbox 1986-2006 in 2006. The original demo version by Per can be found on the Anyone [ENHANCED] single, whereas the "Anyone"/"I Love How You Love Me" Per demo version can be found on the 'RoxBox'.
The video for "Anyone" was banned in a number of countries and restricted to late night airings in others due to the scene in which Marie Fredriksson attempts suicide by drowning herself in the sea. Perhaps the lack of video airtime had an effect on chart performance? "It's over when it's over | What can I do about it?" Yes, the song is really that heartbreaking! "Lying awake in an ocean of teardrops, I float away". Apparently, interest in the song and video are still quite strong with a large viewership for the promo video on sites such as YouTube. 10/10.
"It Will Take A Long Long Time" (words & music by Per Gessle), a beautifully arranged acoustic guitar and piano ballad, lands at track number six. Wow. What a song! I absolutely love this one! Again, this song just shows again why Roxette is the best when it comes to ballads. After the depressing feel of the past four tracks Roxette take a more positive spin on "It Will Take A Long Long Time" with the chorus: "Got to get goin' goin' ahead | It will take a long, long time | Got to go ahead and deal with my life | It has taken such a long time this time". How is that for inspiration? I love the "Sunny called, I was in the bath ..." lyric as well. Per at his best! And yes, Marie once again gives a killer vocal performance. The emotion in her voice is incredible. Her voice was made for this kind of music, and vice-versa.
"Long Long Time" even made a brief appearance in the Julia Roberts/Richard Gere film, 'Runaway Bride', following in the steps of "It Must Have Been Love" for `Pretty Woman`. Listen for it! Also, be sure to check out "It Will Take A Long Long Time [Modern Rock Version]" available on both the Real Sugar single and `RoxBox'. This version is even better, in my opinion, adding an electric guitar on top of the already amazing production, even giving it a slight country vibe. A missed single release? If given a longer appearance in the movie and included on the soundtrack maybe this amazing song could have been! 10/10.
"7Twenty7" (words & music by Per Gessle) follows at what else? Track 7, of course! "Oh I'll be diving my head in the pure white snow", Per Gessle sings. "7Twenty7" cranks the album up considerably with it's electric guitars sliding over the electronic arrangement and synths. Production-wise, it's not really that different from "Crush On You", especially since Per takes lead again vocally and Marie provides vocals on the bridge. With lyrics such as "hey mister, do you know the way to salvation square?" and "it's a long, long winter 'til the birds will sing" this gem is one of Per's finest lyrics. It has edge! Check out Per's rock demo on the Stars single and 'RoxBox'. 9.5/10.
After the uptempo edge of "7Twenty7" comes the stunningly beautiful "I Was So Lucky" (words & music by Per Gessle) at track eight, a song which Mr. Gessle dedicates to his son, Gabriel, in the liner notes of the album. I cannot think of any other words to describe this song other than stunningly beautiful. Everything about this song is perfect. Remember that emotional rollercoaster that I mentioned earlier? Yep, after the hard, anxious feel of the previous track comes the warm, feel-good sensation of "I Was So Lucky", a gem that could have become, in my opinion, a massive single success if released at the right time.
"I Was So Lucky" is one of the sweetest songs that I've ever heard. It`s one of those simple, piano songs which shines in every possible way. "It's no secret I've been waiting but I didn't expect this | Nothing will remain, nothing stays the same after you came | It's no secret I've been starving, I never felt anything for years | I sat up all night just to watch your smile when you're sleeping | I was so lucky you came by and turned a different corner | I could've been somewhere else, you could've passed by". After the brilliant, building saxophone section comes the final chorus, which is, in my opinion, the best moment. Marie takes her vocal up a notch emotionally, along with the strings and backing vocals, to give the song yet another boost, highlighting the chorus with background "ooooooooooooooh" and "ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh" vocals: "... It could have been someone else you had in mind, oh my..." Pure Gessle. Love this!
And Marie sings her heart out! Nobody could sing it better: "I was so lucky you picked me | My trash turned to silver". Yep, that's right! Her trash turned to silver! Is Per really serious with this lyric? As goofy as it may sound it really works and gives the song another emotional lift! Can you tell that I adore this!?!? Probably my favorite part on the entire album. If you want to hear Per's vocal take look for his June 1998 demo on the maxi-single pressing of 'Stars'. 10/10.
As "I Was So Lucky" fades "Stars" (words & music by Per Gessle) joins in as the disc skips over into track nine. From the softer moments of "I Was So Lucky" comes a dance pop gem, a complete turnaround from the easy-going ballads and uptempos so far presented on the album. "Stars" takes Roxette to another level, becoming a dancefloor classic with it's techno beat and choir chorus! After hearing the brilliant "Wish I Could Fly" I stumbled upon "Stars" on the U.S. 2000 edition of Don't Bore Us, Get to the Chorus: Greatest Hits release. "Stars" was one of the main reasons that I decided to purchase 'Have A Nice Day' in the first place.
I absolutely fell in love with this song upon the first listen. It has, in my opinion, one of the best productions of any dance recording out there with it's stomping drum beat and dicey synths. Once again it goes to show the versatility of Roxette, churning out warm ballads and uptempo gems such as this at the same time. The promo video featured Marie in the water singing with ducks! "Stars" was even performed as a ballad in many shows of the 2001 Roxette 'Room Service Tour'. The children's choir in the chorus will have you singing along: "Stars will show where the waters flow where the gardens grow that's where I'll meet you". "Stars" was the third single release from the album and has found a spot on the duo's most recent hits compilations, including A Collection of Roxette Hits: Their 20 Greatest Songs! (2006) and The Pop Hits (2003). In some countries "Stars" was an even bigger success than "Wish I Could Fly" -- #3 Denmark, #9 Finland, #11 Norway, #13 Sweden, #19 Spain, #23 Germany, and #28 Switzerland. 10/10.
Then there's "Salvation" (words & music by Per Gessle), another stunning ballad in the same vein as "I Was So Lucky". Marie sings lead: "I can barely remember my past | Everything seems to disappear so fast | But I recall being jealous and alone | Gazing at the dreams going by | I started my life when you knocked on the door | Found something inside I didn't dare to ignore | Now I do believe in flowers on the moon | I'll swim beside the golden tide". Another ace ballad!
Per even has his part: "Some will get broken others will get lucky like me meeting you | Don't pass me by" in which Marie sings, "I found salvation, oh yeah | You bring me salvation" over a tender piano arrangement. Marie's voice is so sweet and angelic here. There's no other voice like it! "Salvation" is an album highlight that is more commercial sounding than "I Was So Lucky" and "It Will Take A Long Long Time", hence why it was picked as single number four. Even though it found a spot on their very own 'Ballad Hits' and 'RoxBox' releases it deserved much more success. Be sure to check out the video as well, and see what you can make of it. It's something quite special. 10/10.
It's uptempo pop rock again with "Pay The Price" (words & music by Per Gessle), the eleventh track on 'Have A Nice Day' and a double A-sided single with "Anyone" in Japan. Unlike "Crush On You" and "7Twenty7" "Pay The Price" remains true to the classic Roxette sound of the mid-'90s, sounding like something that could have been pulled from 'Crash! Boom! Bang!', for example, or Per's 1997 solo effort, The World According to Per Gessle.
The song was a bit of grower for me, but I've always been rather fond of it, regardless. Now I love it, especially the bridge in which the song takes a turn into just an acoustic section with Per on lead and Marie backing. Then the music builds into this crashing, electric guitar section reminiscent of pop rockers such as "Sleeping In My Car". Marie and Per share lead vocals on this one: "Pay the price of love when he calls for you". Fantastic! 9.5/10.
"Cooper" (words & music by Per Gessle) slows things down considerably on track twelve with it's haunting string section and slow arrangement. "Cooper", with lead vocals by Per Gessle and backing from Marie, tells the story of a young girl who leaves late one night "3 o'clock sharp", questioning "When can I say she's coming home?" and "May I ask who's calling?" Beautiful string arrangement and production. It's a mysterious piece of music and a turn lyrically on the album. Check out the orchestral "Closer To God" version on the "Anyone" single as well. A gem. 9.5/10.
'Have A Nice Day' takes another uptempo turn with track thirteen, "Staring At The Ground" (words & music by Per Gessle). Wow. This one starts out brilliantly with the drum loop, but it's really all about the acoustic and electric guitars! Woah. What a production! The whole vibe of this one is cool, including the harmonica solo by Per Gessle himself! This is the perfect Roxette song, with Marie on lead vocals and Per/Christoffer on backup. My favorite part has to be roughly at a minute and a half when the electric guitars soar: "I'm staring at the ground | I wish I could bring the spring to your door | To the coldest side of town | I carry your wounded dreams like the devil's deeds in the pocket of my jeans". "Staring At The Ground" clocks in at just under 3 minutes, making it the shortest track on the album yet one of the best! Per's demo version can be found on the 'RoxBox'. 10/10.
The album closes with perhaps the grandest recording of all, "Beautiful Things" (words by Per Gessle & music by Marie Fredriksson), track fourteen. The masterpiece, originally written and recorded as the Per Gessle solo demo "Beautiful Things, Terrible Things" in April 1996 for his 'The World According To Gessle' project, took quite a turn production wise once Marie got her hands on the music. While the lyrics are mostly the same as the 1996 demo the music is completely different. Per's version is still sad, but it's more of a mid-tempo cut.
Everything about this recording is flawless -- from the string arrangements to the piano playing by Marie herself. This is yet another one of those "wow" recordings! I suppose that I've overused the word a bit too much by now, but "Beautiful Things" is arguably the best ballad that the band has ever put together.
However, there is one problem! It is just too sad to listen to on a regular basis, mainly the reason that I cannot name this one my favorite. The depressing lyrics and gloomy arrangement can really take an emotional toll (seriously). Therefore, one has to really be in a miserable state or else this song may just turn your mood that way. It's a real downer! Regardless, I still adore this beautiful song and easily place it among Roxette's finest recordings ever, making a much deserved placed on the 'RoxBox'.
A few of the downhearted lyrics: "Terrible things like when you wake up and all of your dreams seem to crack up | Like things you have done, like breaking my heart | For you it don't seem terrible at all." Then the crushing, killer chorus follows: "Is there someone I can talk to? | Someone out there on the line? | Does anybody want to hear what's on my mind?" Marie sings it with such a passionate, depressing vocal as well: "Since you've been gone no beautiful thing seems beautiful to me". Beautiful things indeed. 10/10.
It's really great to see this album get recognition after all these years. This album truly deserves all the appreciation that it can get! It truly is a mind-blowing piece of music. While the album did not match the success of their earlier projects, reportedly selling anywhere between two and three million copies worldwide (it was not even released in the U.S. -- what?!), the overall 5-star rating on Amazon goes to show that the buzz surrounding the album after all these years is mostly positive.
I would love to see this album get a deluxe 2-disc edition treatment in the near future. I'm sure that there are many more goodies in the vaults surrounding this project. Meanwhile, if you enjoy this album I suggest the 'RoxBox' for additional 'Have A Nice Day' era highlights not included here.
If you wish to make a complete 'Have A Nice Day' single disc collection, add the 'RoxBox' to your collection in addition to the era single releases, and tag on the following tracks: 15. Happy Together (b-side of "Wish I Could Fly"), 16. Better Off On Her Own (b-side of "Stars"), 17. It Hurts ('Have A Nice Day' session outtake), 18. Little Miss Sorrow ('Have A Nice Day' session outtake), 19. It Will Take A Long Long Time [Modern Rock/Alternative Version] (b-side of "Real Sugar"), 20. Cooper (Closer To God) (b-side of "Anyone"). I highly recommend these tracks as well! Information about these era highlights can be found in my review of the 'RoxBox' here at Amazon."