Sunday, March 8, 2015
Melodifestivalen 2015: Tobson top 28
Since the reviews I wrote throughout the season were based on the 30-second clips released by SVT after the first rehearsals, I never went into any significant depth about the particular songs. This would be the perfect time and place to elaborate on what makes the good ones good and the bad ones bad.
It's a strange year too in the sense that it's lacking real ups and downs. Most of the songs are good or acceptable, typical mid table entries that most people will like when heard on the radio but that wouldn't push Europe over in a contest like the ESC. No real classics (except one) and no real disasters.
28. Dolly Style / Hello Hi
Let's establish right away that I'm a grumpy old man with no sense of humour. I just find this lacklustre, speculative and overall pretty darn mediocre. Hello Goodbye.
27. Neverstore / If I Was God For One Day
Meek and bleak radio rock with no personality or anything else that would make it stand out or feel meaningful to anyone. Instantly forgotten.
26. Annika Herlitz / Ett andetag
Every time I hear this I start thinking about "Kärlekens dans" with Diana Nuñez from Melodifestivalen 1991. It was also a very old-fashioned ballad with no chance of a life outside of the contest. But nice in its own way.
25. Andreas Weise / Bring Out The Fire
I hear people say this song is catchy. Maybe it is. I can't see past the totally charmless performance of this guy and that ruins the whole thing.
24. JTR / Building It Up
I'm never averse to a boy band but they certainly need a song with more profile and drive than this. It remains the biggest mystery of the year how this one made it straight to the final.
23. Samir & Viktor / Groupie
Song-wise every inch as disastrous as Dolly Style - technically it's not even a song, merely a bunch of "hallå hallå hallå hallå" and "oj oj oj" piled on top of each other, very much like the tv sets they use in their performance - but this one is redeemed by cheerfulness and charm. Likeable but in no way good.
22. Ellen Benediktson / Insomnia
Annoying that this one is so close to being a rather good song. If someone could have cleaned it up and thrown out those weird changes it could have worked really well. And now it doesn't, really.
21. Jessica Andersson / Can't Hurt Me Now
A pretty ballad, well performed, heard a million times before, nice but average, makes no difference in the world.
20. Daniel Gildenlöw / Pappa
A good attempt of writing a gripping song with a message. Interesting but doesn't quite make it all the way, and is perhaps taking part in the wrong competition.
19. Emelie Irewald / Där och då med dig
Another one that feels like it took the wrong door and ended up in the wrong contest. Well sung and an emotional performance of a song that was never going to stand a real chance in the voting.
18. Midnight Boy / Don't Say No
I'd never turn down an overdose of 1980's aesthetics and extravaganza and find the whole package and soundscape rather thrilling, but in spite of that I can't recall what this song sounds like even though I heard it several times. Bad sign.
17. Andreas Johnson / Living To Die
A beautifully staged and packaged entry, unfortunately lacking that strong melody line or hook needed to hit home on a first listen. Or, indeed, a fifth.
16. Linus Svenning / Forever Starts Today
Cheerful and catchy but not much more than that. Linus is a likeable chap but I never saw him and this song as the perfect match.
15. Hasse Andersson / Guld och gröna skogar
Another cheerful effort that made new generations discover Hasse Andersson and his likeable style. I listened a lot to his older songs in my day and find this new one a bit light-weight, but very pleased if it gives this veteran the attention he deserves.
14. Dinah Nah / Make Me (La La La)
Not a bad dance track at all, heavier than what is usually heard at the ESC. Had Dinah Nah had a warmer presence and radiation I would have liked it more, now it leaves me more cold than it would have had to.
13. Marie Bergman & Sanne Salomonsen / Nonetheless
Vocal harmonies to die for and a most professional performance is enough to win me over. Had they wanted a good result as well, a catchier song hadn't been an altogether bad idea.
12. Molly Pettersson Hammar / I'll Be Fine
A good song and vocal performance, clearly affected by the now famous "app-gate" but probably encumbered also by being the first song performed. And Molly would perhaps still need a year or two to properly find her own personality.
11. Kalle Johansson / För din skull
If Molly needs some time to develop, so does Kalle. But a nervous performance can be sweet too and this song would deserve a long life on the radio.
10. Elize Ryd & Rickard Söderberg / One By One
A big song for big voices that possibly would have needed an even bigger performance to hit home.
9. Caroline Wennergren / Black Swan
Elegant and classy, possibly the best grower of the year. It took me a while to get my head around it, but now it stands out as one of the best of 2015.
8. Eric Saade / Sting
An effective little song, riding high on the famous Saade charm. The trick worked fine at first but the whole thing has been shrinking ever since. OK but not outstanding.
7. Mariette / Don't Stop Believing
I had forgotten what an intriguing presence Mariette possesses - how she nails the camera and sort of forces you to pay attention to her. She is ace while the song never grows into the masterpiece it would like to be.
6. Kristin Amparo - I See You
This one still doesn't make me fall off my chair the way I hoped it would when I read all the hype reviews prior to its semi final. Once I forgave it for not being more than this, I grew to like it for what it is instead. A more than decent ballad by a very likeable singer.
5. Behrang Miri & Victor Crone / Det rår vi inte för
No fierce competition for the title, but this could possibly go down as the best rap in Melodifestivalen ever. Another grower, performed by a likeable duet that should have made it to the final.
4. Jon Henrik Fjällgren / Jag är fri (Manne leam frijje)
Clearly reminiscent of Enigma's old hit catalogue, this performance is possibly visually overloaded but very pleasant for the ears.
3. Magnus Carlsson / Möt mig i Gamla stan
Who would have thought most of us had been longing this much for good old traditional schlager? Magnus delivers like the professional he is and makes this one feel even better than it possibly is. A most dignified comeback.
2. Isa / Don't Stop
My first thought was "Taylor Swift by the numbers" and then I discarded the whole thing. But nobody displays the same energy and attack on stage as this fabulous 16-year old starlet and soon I found myself loving the whole package. Altogether pretty sharp.
1. Måns Zelmerlöw / Heroes
Måns is the saviour who just enters the stage and blows everything else away. The song is elegant and instant without begging the audience to love it. My winner and nobody else gets close. But then it remains to be seen whether it will win the final or not.