Erik Hassle is a captivating new artist out of Sweden that delivers carefully tailored, skin-deep pop hooks with a precision and ease that Robin Thicke should envy. A dozen or so adjectives jump to mind when you first hear Hassle: smooth, soulful, catchy – it’s classic pop bred closely with an R&B sentimentality to create a unique and engaging sound that is pleasing to the ear even if it lacks much significant lyrical depth.

Fortunately for Hassle, depth and lyrics aren’t really necessary to make a significant, and significantly enjoyable, pop album. The things that make pop and dance music so entertaining – good beats, catchy hooks, silky smooth vocals – those things are all here in spades.

Special thanks to Curator Duffster for (finally) bringing Hassle to our attention. Hassle is no newcomer to the scene, having released this first track, “Hurtful,” in 2009. Fans loved him when he came onto the scene, and many have stayed loyal to him throughout his journey to musical maturity. The growth is apparent between the relatively simplistic “Hurtful” and the more recent “Talk About It.”

Let’s set the baseline here:

“Hurtful” is not a bad song by any means. It’s catchy, interesting and a great showcase of Hassle’s style. “Hurtful” holds true to the standard formula for a great deal of this type of music, but it works exceptionally well within its confines. I know I’m going to be singing this track in the shower in spite of myself.

However, “Talk About It” is the obvious standout here. Maybe it’s because Hassle has had some time to grow into himself, or maybe it’s just the increasing influence of hip-hop, soul and R&B on modern music. Whatever it is, it suits Hassle very, very well.

Hassle’s silky-smooth crooning pairs perfectly with the songs excellent beat and swelling, syncopated backing track. He crafts yet another catchy pop chorus – the kind that will drill into your skull and be stuck there for days.

Enough of my blathering, here’s “Talk About It”:

“Talk About It” is (I would guess) intentionally ripe for remixing and has made a bit of a splash in Sweden and around the globe. Several artists (including at least one that I’ve reviewed here) have some pretty solid remixes of the song that are readily available on Hassle’s Facebook page.

Hassle may be new to me, but he’s not exactly a new artist. He’s fairly well-established and has demonstrated a great propensity for growing and evolving with the time. If Hassle can maintain the improvement made between “Hurtful” and “Talk About It” over the next five years, then don’t be surprised when one of his singles tops the pop charts here in the States.

About Danny Rudzinski

Danny “Drudzins” Rudzinski is an experienced freelance writer, designer and Internet marketer, a semi-professional musician, and an amateur photographer. Danny writes a wide variety of content for the web, covering everything from music to Internet marketing. He has been passionate about music from a young age and has developed some strong – and not always popular – opinions on the matter. Danny’s favorite things include Reddit, unrelenting pessimism, and general carousing and revelry.