Last Saturday saw the second of the four Melodifestivalen qualifying rounds, with another two lucky Swedes getting their golden ticket to the Globen final in just under a month, and two less lucky Swedes getting a silver ticket to Andra Chansen.
So how were they? I think on the whole I preferred this heat to the first one. It’s a little safer I suppose, but if that’s what it takes to get rid of Dead By April and Thorsten, I could do with a bit of safety.
08 Andreas Lundstedt – Aldrig Aldrig – So for another bite of the cherry, former Alcazar member Andreas goes for a more subdued but still danceable pop song in Swedish. I don’t think I’m way off for saying this is quite reminiscent of Agnes’ Release Me, particularly those stabbing disco strings in the background. The chorus is smooth and likeable, really nice effort altogether.
09 Mimi oh – Det går för långsamt – Another electronic dancepop song, nothing particular new, but the bubbling synths are lovely and clean (does that make ANY sense?). But that chorus really is adorable, that little hook is really stuck in my head. I’m always tempted to put it straight back on again when it finishes, it’s like an addictive little bit of candy. Gorgeous (of course it was doomed)
06 Top Cats – Baby Doll – Why are we always forced to listen to some tedious rock’n’roll 50s pastiche song EVERY YEAR? Not always from Sweden, but someone usually comes up with it, but at least Sweden usually has the good sense not to sent it as its entrant. As far as they go, it’s not THAT bad an example, but this sort of genre just leaves me a bit cold.
08 Sonja Aldén – I din himmel – I don’t really recognise her, but I gather this isn’t her Melodifestivalen debut. It’s a rather delicate softly-spoken ballad, all heavenly harps and ethereal effects. It reaches a rather nice climax, gently arriving with a subtle key change. Not the most exciting song in the world, but listenable and nice.
06 Thomas Di Leva – Ge inte upp – God, these intro vocals are a bit creaky aren’t they? When the chorus eventually shambles into view, it’s vaguely familiar. Like he’s trying to emulate a Coldplay arena-sized hit, but sadly his no-cals don’t really have the scope to get anywhere close to this. Thankfully it’s only 3 minutes long.
08 Timoteij – Stormande hav – Now there’s no mistaking this one, with the strikingly blonde four-piece returning after 2010’s MF attempt with the amazing “Kom”. Sadly it doesn’t quite live up to that level of popstaticness, no matter how many penny whistles they throw at it. It’s still an above-average pop song, and the mix of euro-dance and traditional instruments still sets them apart from many in their class. It’s just not as catchy as “Kom Kom Kom/Zom Zom Zom”.
06 Ulrik Munther – Soldiers – Oh a harmonica! That’s … nice… anyway. His vocals sound very familiar, like a mini Andreas Johnson, or practically any Swedish pop idol guy doing a song in this genre recently (plus a harmonica). Going for the tried-and-tested (I originally mistyped “tired and tested”, maybe that was correct). Nothing WRONG with it, but I’m totally devoid of interest, it’s just OK.
08 David Lindgren – Shout it out – A Danny Saucedo cast-off I’m told, and that comes as no surprise to me. I wonder what on earth Danny’s going to come up with in Heat 4, this seems like the sort of thing he would normally come up with. Anyway, it’s an upbeat dancefloor smash, his vocals are good enough to raise this one up. The lyrics are as generic as you can possibly imagine (about 0.1% more imaginative than “In the the club”), but for these sorts of songs that’s not much of an issue.
The results weren’t exactly what I had in mind… David and Ulrik went straight to the final, while Timoteij and Top Cats got a second chance at Andra Chansen. So basically my favourites were all out, goodbye Andreas, Mimi and Sonja 😦
Keepers for the iPod: Andreas Lundstedt, Mimi Oh, Sonja Alden, Timoteij, David Lindgren.