Roxette – Look Sharp!: #563 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Roxette - Look Sharp!

So why is Roxette’s Look Sharp! on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

“The Look” is a perfect late ‘80s pop song. It’s got an exquisitely catchy Duran Duran-esque hook, synth-y sounds for days, and fantastic harmonizing from Roxette’s Swedish duo of Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle. More on my obsession with “The Look” below.

Bonus: a music video that features a bed that lights up is so very 1988, dig it.

At least by way of Spotify, “Listen To Your Heart” is an even more popular song than “The Look” (302 million “plays” to 226 million). For me, nothing on Look Sharp! quite tops the dizzying pop bliss of “The Look,” but “Listen To Your Heart” is a pretty ballad that holds up well against the power ballads that were ascendent during that era (many of which produced by metal bands looking for crossover mainstream success).

“Dressed For Success” has a fun, synth-y hook that again places Look Sharp! very much as a late 1980s album, but is that such a bad thing*? And Fredriksson sounds fantastic here.

* Answer: No. It is a good thing. Thank you for playing.

Personal stuff that’s somehow related to Roxette’s Look Sharp!

I have a very specific memory relating to Roxette. It was the late ‘80s, and I was tasked to do some kind of yard work in the front of my childhood home in East Northport, New York, on Long Island’s north shore.

Getting tasked to do yard work was not unusual but it usually entailed doing something in the backyard. Anywho, as they say, I may have owned Roxette’s “The Look” as a cassette, but what’s for sure is that I specifically recall listening to “The Look” over and over on a cassette player while doing my yard work thing, on what I want to say was a sunny fall day.

It’s wild how music can be a time travel-meets-geolocation device that way. It’s also a reminder that ever since I was a kid, when I got into a song, I really got into it and could and would listen to it on repeat.

That… still can happen every once in a while.

Pop culture stuff that’s somehow related to Roxette’s Look Sharp!

Look Sharp! the Roxette album from 1988 is not to be confused with Look Sharp! the Joe Jackson album from 1979. Joe Jackson falls into a slightly unusual area for me, where I kind of like his stuff generally but am never very motivated to do a deeper dive.

That being said, I recently realized that Joe Jackson’s song, “Got the Time,” is the source material for an incredible cover version by Perfect Thyroid, the fantastic ska punk outfit who dominated the upstate New York local scene (and beyond that too, no doubt) during my college years in Binghamton, New York.

Some stats & info about Roxette – Look Sharp!

Roxette’s Look Sharp! on Spotify

A lyrical snippet from Roxette’s Look Sharp! that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe

Walking like a man, hitting like a hammer, she’s a juvenile scam. Never was a quitter, tasty like a raindrop, she’s got the look.

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.