Saturday, February 18, 2017

Just a minute....of this week's Melodifestivalen songs - Heat 3

Firstly, apologies for the lack of posts lately, the past couple of weeks have been hectic and I haven't been feeling too great.  However I have been watching as many heats and national finals as time allows,  I have (surprise surprise) built up a large backlog of posts to write up since December, unfortunately I can't promise when I'll have the time or energy to get round to posting these but hoping to do this within the next 4 weeks.  This blog is very much a 'retrospective' one these days, sad to say.

It's Super Saturday tonight with 3 finals (Hungary, Poland and Malta) as well as various semi-finals going on.  If you thought last Saturday night was a challenge then tonight is an even bigger one, trying to catch as many of the shows as possible.  Good luck everyone!

Anyway let's get on with a quick first listen to this week's Melfest entries competing in Växjö.  Who will go direkt, who will make it to Andra Chansen and who's going home?

Song 1: "I Can't Go On" - Robin Bengtsson. 

Melodifestivalen 2017 has been the year of the f word.  It first popped up in week 1's opening number, then it was all over Lisa Ajax's song last week, and now here it is again in Robin's song. Now I'm no prude and I'm not a fan of musical censorship but I think it's all getting a bit tiresome now.  I will probably write more about this when I get round to publishing my full reviews.

In the meantime, we have Robin's quick return to Melfest with a song which on first hearing has, to be honest, left me cold.  Of course I've only heard a minute of the song so maybe it gets better, and and maybe the live performance will give it that something extra.  It has a little Justin Timberlake vibe to it, but apart from that and the unnecessary f-word, it all just sounds far too generic and dull.  I expected something a bit more special from Robin, although having said that, it took a while for "Constellation Prize" to grow on me so this might be the same.

PREDICTION: To the Final.

Song 2: "Snurra Min Jord" - Krista Siegfrids. 

I thought Krista did an excellent job hosting the Finnish final a few weeks ago.  Now she's popped over the border again to compete in another Melodifestivalen but I fear it will be another year without success.  This is an upbeat dance/pop song in Swedish, and the fanboys are all loving it.  For me, it's OK and I think it might grow on me after a few listens.  I can't see this qualifying from the draw-of-doom slot and even in a musically unspectacular week there are other songs which have a much better chance of qualification.

PREDICTION: Non-qualifier.

Song 3: "Kiss You Goodbye" - Anton Hagman.

Two things which have me running for the hills: the phrase "YouTube star" and a solo singer with an acoustic guitar.  But wait!  I think I might like this one.  It's a catchy, uptempo (if a bit too lightweight) pop song which I would definitely want to listen to again.  This will be one for the app voters this week though, as Anton has teen-appeal and could be a Swedish version of Shawn Mendes. So for that reason...

PREDICTION: To Andra Chansen.

Song 4: "Gravity" - Jasmine Kara. 

This seems to have that 'something extra' to take it on to the final.  It starts well but then it all goes wrong and goes all EDM/Titanium on us.  In the current Melfest fashion for the F-word I would like to say this: "Not another f***ing Titanium copy!  Can Titanium please f*** off now?  We suffered it enough when it was all over the radio for about 2 years so we really don't need all these f***ing songs which sound like Ti-f***-ing-tanium in Eurovision as well.  And that goes for you too Germany!"  "Gravity" is not as blatant a Titanium copy as "Perfect Life" though, so that's something.

PREDICTION: To the final.

Song 5: "Boogieman Blues" - Owe Thörnqvist. 

A man called Owe!  In this case, he's Melodifestivalen's oldest contestant ever, 87 years young, and he is still rockin' and rollin' with this fun song.  I still haven't a clue how this is going to go - it's probably not a qualifier but if Hasse Andersson could do it then who knows?  In a heat with two acts with teen appeal though, the young voters are likely to greatly influence tonight's result.

PREDICTION: Non-qualifier.

Song 6:  "Crucified" - Bella and Filippa.

A cheery wee country-flavoured number is this.  But OMG, what a cheeky steal from the Common Linnets' staging, with the road line going down the middle of the stage. There's a lot of comparisons with First Aid Kit, although Bella and Filippa seem to be a more mainstream/commercial version. This is very nice, but it's maybe too lightweight to make enough of an impression with the voters.

PREDICTION: Non-qualifier.

Song 7: "Gotta Thing About You" - FO&O.

Right then, Firstly, have this band got the monopoly on stupid band names?  Firstly we had The Fooo. Which was at least quite funny as we could call them "The Foooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo".
Then they changed to the rather silly The Fooo Conspiracy.  Finally when they lost a band member (an O) they changed it yet again to FO&O.  Which is a pretty rubbish band name really.

They are hugely popular in Sweden with a very enthusiastic fandom to say the least. Despite the heavyweight songwriting input from Mutt Lange, something is missing here for me.  I expected a stronger song but it just sounds like something else off the boyband production line.  It's JTR all over again.

PREDICTION: To Andra Chansen.

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