There’s something off about the opening seconds of Ms. Henrik’s new single “My Only Vice.” 8 bars of club beat are topped with a slick drum fill which takes us into a heavy synth line and into the song itself. At first, I was sure that the timing was off, just by a hair but on closer inspection it proved to be solid. Perhaps it’s the sudden shift in dynamic or volume or that the drums stop for a moment destroying any impact the synth line should have carried. Whatever the reason, it seems the potential hinted at by that cool, groovy drum roll is not met. In a way that holds up as a good descriptor for the whole song, not that it is bad per se but that, given its potential, it could have been so much more.
Ms. Henrik is an interesting character, full of that charming Swedish spirit. He is at once a child of glam pop, dressed in leather and with hair slicked back but also wild and feral and wholly unique. His previous work, especially the “Blue Velvet Frank EP” seems to be tailored to suit his voice perfectly, letting him roam free throughout. He is unrestrained and his love of glam pop icons like Bowie and Lou Reed shine through his performance.
Ms. Henrik is a flower child, somewhat out of place in today’s pop culture but instead of appreciating the uniqueness of his sound and making that the main attraction as with, say, Amy Winehouse, on “My Only Vice” his personality is tucked and folded to fit within a plain and fairly uninspired dance pop song.
Throughout the verses of “My Only Vice” we hear MS. Henrik is given a little freedom and his voice shines
most here. When he screams the line “Just let it slide” he sounds a lot like Per Almqvist from The Hives. The chorus is more pedestrian and the song relies far too much on it, given its simplicity. By the halfway point we’ve heard much of what the song has to offer.
So “My Only Vice” is a little dull but not without its charm. I’ve caught myself singing it a few times out of nowhere. Ms. Henrik as a new artist to me felt like something of a revelation, a fresh voice in a sea of imitators. I am really looking forward to any new work from him and would strongly recommend the “Blue Velvet Frank EP.”