A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Friday, February 27, 2015

Sweden: Melodifestivalen, semi 4

It has almost turned into my mantra ever since SVT started revealing only short clips instead of full songs: "30 seconds are not enough to tell anything about a song. You don't know anything after 30 seconds."

But sometimes you know all you need to now. This week it tells me I can sit back and relax and wait for at least one entry that I can keep close to my heart.

It's not a bad lineup this time around - surely more interesting than last week - but 2015 has been far from a stellar year song-wise. If the last week delivers, maybe the whole year will stand out in a more positive light to the audience than it really deserves to. If so, there is still hope.

01. Midnight Boy / Don't Say No
An orgy in 1980's posing complete with musical and visual kitsch is a great opening number and sounds like something I could get pretty enthusiastic about. Unfortunately, these kinds of retro nods to older pop culture usually fail in MF. Not convinced Midnight Boy would be an exception to that rule.

02. Caroline Wennergren / Black Swan
Seemingly a classy number and Caroline Wennergren has proved herself a real entertainer in the past when she knocked people over and made it all the way to the final in 2005. It was a surprise then and I have a feeling that was her moment. Would thunder strike twice in the same spot?

03. JTR - Building It Up
Good thing: cute boyband with the right amount of attitude and energy. Bad thing: a really generic song that make no difference to anyone. The big question is whether the audience is hungry for cute guys or good songs. If they go for the latter, these brothers will be chanceless.

04. Hasse Andersson - Guld och gröna skogar
A real veteran - whose old songs are really good and dear to me - who has now accepted a song by young songwriters that made a pastiche of his old style. Not entirely sure what I think about that - actually I'm pretty sure I think it's not authentic enough for my liking - but it is heartwarming to see Hasse Andersson getting the love he deserves.

05. Dina Nah - Make Me (La La La)
Very much like song 01, this kind of entry hasn't fared particularly well in the past: a female lead dance track tends to be out on its ears, usually at an early stage of the voting. The success of Isa/Ace Wilder may have shuffled the cards a bit, though. This is a promising chorus, but in the short clip I see nothing of the charm it would need to pull this one off.

06. Annika Herlitz - Ett andetag
A typical ballad sung by your typical singer. Technically perfect but nothing much to get excited about. Unless the fans of Frozen understand that Annika does the voice of Elsa in Swedish, this one is bound to go nowhere.

07. Måns Zelmerlöw - Heroes
Here he comes. The saviour. My hero. After these 30 seconds I am convinced this is the song I will carry with me from this year's competition. I'm less convinced everyone else will feel the same, though. There is a risk this is too arty and introverted to break through to a larger audience, and possibly Måns will have to take the detour through Andra Chansen, but I decide not to think about that at this point. I just look forward enormously to hearing the song in full.

Tobson predicts:
Final: Måns Zelmerlöw and Hasse Andersson
Andra Chansen: JTR and Dina Nah
Fifth: Caroline Wennergren
Out: Midnight Boy and Annika Herlitz

I wouldn't mind Caroline placing better or Dina Nah going straight to the final, but for me anything will do as long as Måns is in the final. May the Swedes get it!

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