Introducing Margaret Berger

Article by Miriam C. & Alessandra Cognetta

Sometimes people (in particular some metalheads – now don’t take it personally, I’m just stating the obvious) confuse quality with commercial: at the end of the day that doesn’t mean anything, ’cause if you think about it , if the music doesn’t sell the artist doesn’t earn. Having said that, it’s now time to take a step forward and discover with me Margaret Berger, this fantastic Norwegian artist whose grace and soaring vocals are enchanting the European audience. Margaret expressed her interest in singing since she was a child, but except for some experiences in a band called Slim Void and in her local gospel choir we must wait till 2004 with her participation in the second Norwegian edition of “Idol”. Although Margaret gained the second place, “Idol” was her breakthrough. In the same year, Berger released her debut “Chameleon”, a Top 4 album that mixed pop, R&B and rock, that showed diversity but still denoted acerbity. It’s with her second album, released 2 years later, “Pretty Scary Silver Fairy”, that we can fully appreciate her musical evolution into a more electronic/synthpop sound.

It’s really worthless to list every song present on the record, I can only recommend you to open your Spotify profile and listen to it and believe me you’ll be astonished by the quality and outstanding ability of how she varies her vocals.

If the Italian public broadcaster RAI has forsworn the existence of the Eurovision Song contest for almost 14 years, in Nordic countries such as Norway and Sweden (does ABBA remind you of anything?) it has proved to be a well-established tradition where many singers have the real possibility to become acquainted with a more far-reaching audience: the European one. And it’s in this context that the Trondheim singer debuted internationally in 2013 with “I Feed You My Love” ending up in the 4th place with 190 points. Well, that’s the truth when they said that “it’s not the winning that counts, but how you played the game” ’cause her ESC participation was the perfect combination for conveying and widening her fanbase. On 28 August 2013  her second single off the upcoming album “New Religion”, that is “Human Race”, was premiered; this single has the authentic power (and believe me it’s true – no I’m not on any drugs or stuff like that) to drift you to another dimension, a more futuristic one and, I might say, a real one. I know that it probably sounds exaggerated, but I found her straightforward lyrics (especially in the refrain: “I’m on a dead end mission for the outer space – I’m leaving mother earth without a trace – I don’t know where I lost my faith – Help me escape the human race) so true and sincere and they totally apply to that sense of alienation and war that we’ve been fighting with in these days.

A fantastic single can come out from a collaboration – that’s the case of Disclosure/London Grammar‘s cover “Help Me Lose My Mind”. Sung for the first time during NKR‘s P3 radio program “Live hos Christine” on 20 October 2013 with the promising pop singer Gabrielle, both the singers tackle their voices in a different environments: Gabrielle debuts an English-written song and Margaret a pure acoustic lullaby stripped of all electronic surroundings. And so we come to “Scream”, the latest single released on 14 March 2014. This new song marks a further musical development: Margaret was able to wisely mix groove and electronic tunes. In other words, Berger, in this world of consumerism and one hit wonders, is one of the few popstars whose particular style blends structured and passionate lyrics with a constant musical evolution. And this bolsters her reputation for a bright, shining future.

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