Saturday, February 04, 2017

Just a minute....of this week's Melodifestivalen 2017 songs - Heat 1

The biggest, most popular, most hyped of all the Eurovision national selections kicks off tonight in Gothenburg.  Yes, Melodifestivalen is finally here.  However I am taking a very different approach to it this year and have lowered my expectations so that I won't be disappointed!

My problem with Melfest is that every year I get carried along with the hysteria and end up expecting far too much, only for the inevitable disappointment to follow.  If we're all spared and make it to the end of 2017, some of this year's Melfest entries may make it into my annual chart, but at this stage of the game it's likely to be a very different story.  Let me explain! Very few songs manage to grab me on first hearing, so I can become quite negative about songs which I eventually grow to like or love.

Anyway it's time to look at the first set of songs which will compete to go either direkt till final or to Andra Chansen.  As usual SVT published snippets of the songs the other day, so here are my views based on what I've heard so far.

Song 1: "Her Kiss" - Boris René.

His debut entry last year "Put Your Love On Me" remains one of my favourite songs from 2016's national finals season.  I fear though that Boris may be subject to Melodifestivalen's Law of Diminishing Returns - where returning artists bring a song which just isn't as good as their previous entry.

That said, I quite like this - it's an agreeable (many would call it old-fashioned) pop song, nothing more, nothing less.  Although for some reason the 'she's got that sunshine' part in the chorus makes me think of "The Clapping Song" - "my mama told me/if I was goody" etc (!?!?!)

It's not a serious contender though, and people may struggle to remember the song, but he's a likeable performer and all in all I think it'll be enough to ensure a qualifying place.

PREDICTION: To Andra Chansen. 

Song 2: "Amare" - Adrijana.

Oh no, second position in the running order, the 'slot of death' for unknowns, newcomers and the acts which SVT don't want to qualify.

I can't see Adrijana breaking this curse.  This is a very contemporary hip-hop song but it lacks a strong hook and is easily forgotten.  This isn't really my type of music but extra points from me for it being in Swedish.

PREDICTION: Non-qualifier. 

Song 3: "One More Night" - Dinah Nah.

So Christer says that there is no schlager in this year's Melodifestivalen.  Well to these ears, this song has a definite whiff of modern schlager about it and if you're one of those fans who like to regularly use the words "yaaasssss", "slay" and "queen" when referring to song contest entries, then this one's for you. It has a touch of the 'Bombo' about it as well.  However, times have changed and songs like this just don't do well in Melodifestivalen any more.

PREDICTION: Non-qualifier.

Song 4: "Road Trip" - De Vet Du.

Something which does inexplicably do well in Melodifestivalen is this type of 'joke' entry (previous contenders: Sean Banan/Samir and Viktor).  When you factor in this new style of celebrity - YouTube stars - then it's looking good for this gang who are also going to put on a bit of a show.  It's in Swedish, which is a good thing, but I didn't think much of this song on first listen.  However I think it could be one of those songs which could dangerously grow on me as time goes on.  Be very afraid :D

PREDICTION: To Andra Chansen. 

Song 5: "Mitt Liv" - Charlotte Perrelli.

The schlager world went into mourning at the news that La Perrelli was returning to Melfest with *a ballad*.  And - shock horror - am acoustic guitar!

I'm not a fan of ballads and it has to be particularly memorable to stand out.  I found this rather dull and it's quite likely to be down near the foot of the scoreboard.  I doubt whether Charlotte will care too much though as she will solely be using this appearance as a promotional tool for her new style of music.

PREDICTION: Non-qualifier. 

Song 6: "Wild Child" - Ace Wilder.

Will it be third time lucky for Ace this year?  Despite the title it's not that wild at all, and it actually shows a 'softer' side based on this clip.  I don't like her new platinum blonde hair colour though!

She is not the strongest vocalist, it has to be said, and the overall staging and presentation of the song has been such a huge factor in the success of her previous Melfest entries so I guess a lot will depend on that.  She could even find herself battling against De Vet Du for that final spot - but I think she'll make it to the final based on the name-recognition and her past successes in the contest.

PREDICTION: To the Final. 

Song 7: "Hold On" - Nano.

Much has been written over the years about the power of the "pimp slot" which is usually reserved either for a much-hyped well-known 'name' or as a launchpad for an unknown artist.  Many were surprised when the previously-unknown Nano was given week 1's "pimp slot" in preference to Ace Wilder.

If you had to put Hozier's "Take Me To Church", Rag N'Bone Man's "Human", Sigma & Rita Ora's "Coming Home" and Rudimental's "Feel The Love" into a blender, it would probably produce this on-trend, generic recipe for success.  Mix that with his strong, powerful vocals and this is an absolute qualifier without a doubt.

PREDICTION: To the Final.

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