100 Plays Later is a series that is exactly how it sounds. I try to explain how I’ve managed to reach a century of plays on songs you may not even recognise. Or explain what it’s like to listen back to my favourite songs for the 238th time.
Release Me – Agnes – 119 Plays
The Eurovision winner that never was, Release Me is the sort of pop anthem that only Sweden can deliver. Agnes was a relative unknown over here in the UK, who rose to fame in her home country after winning the second season of Idol. Release Me seemed to appear out of nowhere here, it was commonplace for Europop acts like September and Infernal to see success over here, and Release Me ended up becoming the hit of the summer and one of my all time most played songs.
There’s something so perfect about surrounding a dance record with strings. Release Me is a bombastic banger of a song, with huge vocals from Agnes and a throbbing bassline, but it remains classy throughout. It’s camp, but still polished; both a singer’s record and made for the dancefloor. Release Me fills me with joy, like all great pop records should. It’s tragic but hopeful and remains one of the best tracks to crossover from Europe in recent memory. Agnes joins an elite group of Swedish acts with more than 100 plays in my library.