ILM's 2005 collaborative mix project hoonja-doonja!

February 21, 2005

The Ark, "It Takes A Fool To Remain Sane"

Top 40 from another world? This one truly is: it was the most played song on Swedish National Radio in 2000, yet has barely been heard outside of Europe.

Huge in their native Sweden as well as in Europe, The Ark do a theatrical and opulent brand of glam-pop; the kind that aims to hit all your pop sensors at once but refuses to succumb to kitsch or pomposity. "It Takes A Fool To Remain Sane" was the group's breakthrough single from their 2000 album "We Are The Ark," and it also happens to be one of my favorite pop songs of the current decade. Even after a countless number of plays, I am still impressed by how well the lyrics and music are able to articulate the touchy notion of gay intolerance into such a classy pop anthem that is both fist-pumping and bittersweet. There's also this incredibly palpable sense of lead singer Ola Salo living vicariously through his lyrics and exuberance, as if this song was the only way he could access his most gushing emotions.

As Ned commented in his a-ha piece, there are songs that seem to defy logic when they fail to chart or aren't chosen as singles. But there are rare songs like this where you feel they deserve to flood the airwaves for as long as possible.

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