A celebration of Swedish song!

Melodifestivalen 2017

This Saturday sees the last weekend of the National Final season and four countries have selection shows coming to an end.  One of those selections is arguably the most popular of all, Melodifestivalen.  Sweden’s national final brings in big names not only Swedish but further afield in a chance to represent the country on the Eurovision stage.  We have seen some big names like Charlotte Perrelli and Loreen crash out in the preliminary stages and now we have a final 12 songs.  Will Sweden have their 7th Eurovision winner in this bunch of songs?  Christer Bjorkman wants there to be, let’s find out.

 

Nano- “Hold On”

Great staging of this song, it really builds the tension before the chorus really kicks in.  This gives me vibes of Sam Smith’s Like I Can crossed with Sigma and Paloma Faith’s Changing.  When I heard the 30 second clip during the week of this semi-final I knew this was going direct to the final, and rightly so.  This is a great contemporary dance track with buckets of soul and very much chart worthy.  Will it win Melodifestivalen?  Yes it could, yet there are some heavy weights in this final as we will see.

My score: 8/10

Ace Wilder- “Wild Child”

I am so HAPPY!!  I have never been on the Ace Wilder Bandwagon.  I have respected her as an artist, and while I didn’t enjoy “Busy Doin’ Nothing” or “Don’t Worry” on first listen, “Wild Child” is the most instant of all her Melfest songs.  This is a great dance song with tribal/tropical influences, and while Ace has always found it hard to get support from the Swedish Public I think this is the one to garner that support.  Will she win?  I can’t say, but well done Ace!

My score: 8.5/10

Mariette- “A Million Years”

Mariette returns to Melodifestivalen, with what can only be described as a complete change of style and sound.  “A Million Years” is an atmospheric dance track with slight hints of traditional/ethnic and electronic sounds, she sells it in her first live performance.  Speaking of that performance, the staging is very original and makes an impact, making you question what it has got to do with the song, but that is a good thing.  This is Eurovision ready, and I would happily see her in Kyiv, she has put the cat amongst the pigeons as far as Ace is concerned, but there will be no cat fights as they are good friends.

My score: 9/10

Benjamin Ingrosso- “Good Lovin’”

Benjamin has a great musical heritage, his mother is Pernilla Whalberg and his one-time aunt is Eurovision winner Charlotte Perrelli.  Benjamin is no stranger to the contest, having won the Junior version of the competition back in 2006 with the song “Hej Sofia”.  His 2017 effort “Good Lovin’” is an upbeat pop song, with a good hook and danceable backing track.  Benjamin makes use of that track, by showing of his dance moves, which must have come from his stint on the Swedish version of Strictly Come Dancing.  The song reminds me of a Jamiroquai song, and while Benjamin is a good singer, with plenty of young female support, I can’t see this winning.  He will get a decent result, but it isn’t going to Kyiv.

My score: 6.5/10

Owe Thornqvist- “Boogieman Blues”

At 87, Owe is the oldest participant to take to the Melodifestivalen stage, having composed songs for other artists in the contests of the 60s.  “Boogieman Blues” is exactly what it says, it is a blues number, very vintage in styling with dancing to match.  The song is not bad, it has an almost nostalgic feel to it, but like Hasse in 2015, I feel Owe won his place in the final more on his age and name.  I can’t see this winning, but the competition is richer for have artists and songs of all genres represented.

My score: 5.5/10

Robin Bengtsson- “I Can’t Go On”

Well this staging is like nothing we have seen in Melodifestivalen before, yet it is hardly original as we have seen many singers in Idol and x factor backstage and make their way centre stage.  The song is a pop song, the likes of which Timberlake would sing, it has that almost electronic sound to it.  Robin can sing, we know this from last year, but the lyrics are unnecessary.  Just like Lisa Ajax last week, we have a lot of the lyrics dedicated to a certain four letter word.  It doesn’t add anything to the song, it puts me off slightly.  I am not prude at all, I have a very bad potty mouth, but if you are going to swear, make it worthwhile.

My score: 7/10

Jon Henrik Fjällgren feat. Aninia – “En värld full av strider (Eatneme gusnie jeenh dåaroeh)”

Jon Henrik is back after his successful stint at Melodifestivalen 2015, where he was runner up to Mans Zemerlow.  He has now teamed up with the beauty Aninia on a song that is very much reminiscent of his previous entry.  It doesn’t make as much of an impact as “Jag Ar Fri” made, but I do enjoy the chanting he brings to the song and Aninia’s voice is a nice contrast.  It is a bit Disney ballad, but it will stand out in the final.  Not my winner, but a nice song.

My score: 6.5

Wiktoria- “As I Lay Me Down”

Another returnee, this time it is 2016 Finalist Wiktoria back with some more of her signature country-pop music.  This has more than a flavour of “Save Me”, yet it is more upbeat and happy.  This reminds me of a female and more EDM version of a Kenny Rogers song.  This is fantastic.  I am writing this review the Tuesday after its semifinal and I honestly haven’t stopped singing this song.  That must be a good sign.  Last week I was convinced it was Mariette’s to lose, now this has thrown a spanner in the works and you can see this by my score.  I have given this a very slightly higher score as I feel this could be a potential Eurovision winner, able of beating Italy’s Francesco Gabbani (who is the clear favourite for me), Mariette was chosen before Francesco and I feel that she wouldn’t have the power to beat him in the voting, but Wiktoria does.

My score: 9.1/10

FO&O- “Gotta Thing About You”

Three of the four members of The Fooo Conspiracy have now come together at Melfest in a bid to represent the country at Eurovision.  The song is something that is not out of place with a set up like this.  It is very Justin Beiber/ One Direction yet very generic and it bores me to listen to it.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see this do VERY well in the televote due to their domestic success, but I cannot see the international juries voting for this in big numbers.

My score: 6/10

Lisa Ajax- “I Don’t Give A”

Lisa is back this year with another of her signature love pop ballads.  She does nail this genre of music, yet I wouldn’t class this as one of the best.  It is a nice song and it does have a slight hook to it, but it still isn’t as instant as “My Heart wants Me Dead”.  I also don’t enjoy the swearing in this song, just like Robin’s song, it does nothing to enhance it.  Yet whereas Robin is changing the lyrics, Lisa can’t do that, if she changed the word to ‘Frig’ it wouldn’t make sense as a song.

My score: 6.5/10

Boris Rene- “Her Kiss”

Boris is another artist that is back from 2016 and brings a song that is not to dissimilar to his previous entry.  He uses those signature moves to great effect and can perform his ‘socks-off’.  Yet this song is just a little dated for me to totally enjoy.  I can’t see him win, but it is nice to see him back in the competition.

My score: 6.5/10

Anton Hagman- “Kiss You Goodbye”

What must be said it well done to beat Loreen to the final.  In their duel, I did enjoy Loreen’s performance more, but I am not overly surprised by the result.  Co-written by A Friend in London’s Tim Schou “Kiss You Goodbye” is a song that wouldn’t be out of place on a Vamps alum.  It is a decent song but not a winner.

My score:  6/10

 

Well this contest never let’s me down, there are some fantastic entries, and potential winners in this selection.

 

My Top 3:

  1. Wiktoria
  2. Mariette
  3. Ace Wilder

 

Who do you think will win?  Let us know below, enjoy the show !!

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