Friday, February 20, 2015
Sweden: Melodifestivalen, semi 3
So far this year, Melodifestivalen has been OK. There have been some good songs and good performances and we have quite a good final to look forward to.
And yet nothing has really triggered my senses and left me screaming for more. Magnus Carlsson has a good slice of schlagerpop that I enjoy but that I wouldn't send off to Vienna. Mariette has a fantastic stage presence and really nails you down with her eyes, but her song doesn't quite live up to her own person. And Eric Saade is, well, Eric Saade and that has already been done once.
Unless the songs of week three really open up during the live show, it doesn't look promising I will find any real personal favourites this time around either. Is the winner hiding in semi 4...?
I listened a few times to the short clips (30 seconds displayed on the SVT website) and these are my first impressions.
01. Ellen Benediktsson / Insomnia
The little girl grew up and brought along a song I think I could quite like. A little darker, not so instantly likeable. Well done. Too bad that the chorus is an obvious copy of "Euphoria", that's where all hope is lost. People at home will sit and think about the similarity and forget to vote. It's been three years since Baku, time to let go of that particular song.
02. Kalle Johansson / För din skull
Youthful and slightly naïve pop, also clearly modelled on things that already exist but in a less obvious way. Not bad but with no clear handles. Sweden hasn't exactly love bombed this style in recent years, but Kalle is sweet and would deserve at least the fifth place he won't get.
03. Andreas Weise / Bring Out The Fire
I've never been a fan of this guy, so maybe I'm not giving this entry a proper chance. There is no rule stating every performer must be modest, but if you are cocky you'd better have the goods to back the attitude up with. Andreas Weise is no Robbie Williams, to but it bluntly. Even though he clearly wishes he was.
04. Andreas Johnson / Living To Die
The second consecutive Andreas is easier to like and has a really good track record in MF, but lately his curve has been pointing downwards. This sounds elegant and suggestive, but possibly not instant enough to win over the app voters.
05. Isa / Don't Stop
After somebody who wanted to sing Euphoria, somebody who wanted to be Robbie Williams and somebody who wants to sound like every Swedish male pop singer under the sun, song 05 brings somebody who wants to be Taylor Swift. Is this the Soundmix show, all of a sudden? Pleasant and easy to retain but at this point all the copy paste that goes on could really start annoying people.
06. Kristin Amparo / I See You
Everyone on location loves this one to bits and see it as a clear finalist. I keep telling me the short clip must be badly chosen since I totally fail to find anything of interest here. It sounds fine, nicely packaged but nothing that triggers me at all. I'll be really disappointed if this one doesn't grow on me, honestly.
07. Jon Henrik Fjällgren / Jag är fri (Manne leam frijje)
The last entry offers a great big mix of folkloristic dance, singing angels, snowflakes and a Sami version of Enigma's old hits. Jon Henrik is adorable in his own right and is the only special effect this song really needs. A bit of yoik, anyone?
Predicting after only 30 seconds is always a hard task and this week I will, against better judgment, rely more on the opinions of others than my own. But there must be more to song 06 than I managed to pick up.
Final: Jon Henrik Fjällgren and Kristin Amparo
Andra Chansen: Andreas Johnson and Isa
Fifth: Andreas Weise
Out: Ellen Benediktsson and Kalle Johansson
I'd love to switch around Andreas Weise and Kalle Johansson, but I doubt that is going to happen. Do your worst, Sweden!