Saturday, February 21, 2015

Just a minute....of this week's Melodifestivalen songs

Heat 3 already!  I didn't have the chance to do a preview last week but it was a very pleasant surprise to see Magnus Carlsson make his comeback and be rewarded with a place in the final, along with former Idol participant Mariette whose song was being tipped last week as a possible Melfest winner.

Above: this week's entrants (picture courtesy of SVT)

But that was last week and we're now on to another crop of songs so let's have a listen.

"Insomnia" - Ellen Benediktson.
*lazy comparison klaxon* so does it sound like Euphoria then?  Well the words insomnia and euphoria have the same number of syllables and that's about it.  She's certainly changed from the sweet little balladeer of last year.  This song is ok but suffers from the distraction of over-choreographed backing dancers which seems to destroy almost every uptempo song these days (isn't that right, Aleksa Jelic??)

"För Din Skull" - Kalle Johansson
Kalle was the winner of the Svensktoppen Nästa competition (automatically entitling the winner to the 'slot of death' in a Melfest heat) and I really liked the song which he won that competition with. This isn't as good although it's a G:son song with some schlagery appeal and reminds me of something Barbados might have done.

"Bring Out The Fire" - Andreas Weise.
I have never liked this guy.  He appears very arrogant and fame-hungry - maybe I'm wrong and doing him a disservice, I don't know, but that's the way he appears to me.  The song's a mediocre take on "Let Me Entertain You" and I'm sorry but it's not even bringing out a spark, never mind a fire.

"Living To Die" - Andreas Johnson.
There is something quite reassuring about Andreas being back at Melodifestivalen, as it reminds us of all the years when he took part, those years when Melodifestivalen was good.  I guess the title's a little off-putting.  That aside, it's maybe a bit too low-key and doesn't really have the anthemic quality of some of his other Melfest entries, but might just sneak an Andra Chansen place.

"Don't Stop" - Isa.
In this part of the world we would probably chuckle at the name 'Isa' as it reminds us of a character in the extremely popular comedy series "Still Game".  This Isa is very different from that one of course! This is chart-friendly uptempo pop which I'm confidently predicting to qualify, probably to Andra Chansen.

"I See You" - Kristin Amparo.
It's a big shouty ballad which she co-wrote with Melfest sourge Fredrik Kempe.  I can't really judge it on the clip, and would probably have to hear more of it to make up my mind although at this stage I'll say that she is better than the song.  The good news is that this will be the last week we'll see Mr Smug as he is not, I repeat NOT - in the list of next week's songwriters.  Hooray!  Anyway this is looking like a definite qualifier.

"Jag är Fri (Manne Liem Frijje)" - Jon Henrik Fjällgren
This was the guy who won Sweden's Got Talent, and Sweden loves him.  We haven't had jojking at Eurovision since Norway 1980, and I doubt this would go all the way to Vienna for Sweden but is a guaranteed finalist.  Again I can't really tell from the short clip how good this is, but *lazy comparison klaxon* I'm feeling a bit of Enigma with this one.  He's just lovely, but my main gripe is that the staging of the song is absolutely ridiculous. Someone really needs to have a word with SVT about this trend of swamping a song with distractions, it's so offputting.

So that's it for this week then.  I can't believe how poor the songs have been in Melodifestivalen this year.  My last hope is that Måns brings us something extra special next week, although judging by the standard this year, I'm not expecting too much....

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