The Album's Release
The first single, Tåg (Train) was released in 1988. The same year Jakob Hellman won a Grammis (the Swedish equivalent of a Grammy Award) as Best Newcomer. The album followed on February 13, 1989. Seven out of the nine songs featured on the demo were included on the album. The original release contained twelve tracks; a later reissue adds the single B-sides and a few other tracks for a total of 19. Although Hellman himself wanted to name the album De sista melodierna (The Last Melodies) it instead borrowed its title from one of the non-single songs, ...Och stora havet (...And the great sea).
Musically, most of the album's songs can be described as quite radio-friendly guitar-based music in the singer-songwriter vein, although Hellman's syncopated singing style set him apart from most of the competition. In interviews, Jakob Hellman cited Elvis Costello as his greatest influence, and although his music by no means could be called a carbon copy, similarities can easily be found. The lyrics, entirely in Swedish, range from rather simple love songs to more philosophical themes. They are characterized by inventive turns of phrase, often imitated by followers.
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