There are only nine songs in competition in Denmark this year, so I don’t feel as overdosed as I did with Finland and Norway at the end of the listen. A number of people in my various circles (for I have many, and none of them are on Google+) have expressed disappointment with the Danish selection this year, but I’m actually fine with it (for once). There’s a couple that I like less, shall we say – but overall, I’m fairly optimistic about what’s on offer.
Click on the song titles to get to clips of the songs.
Jesper Nohrstedt is a former X Factor contestant who made it all the way to the final (he competed as Jesper Boesgaard), so he’s definitely got an advantage in terms of live stadium performance, given that he’s performed at Parken. Take Our Hearts sounds a lot like the songs on Rasmus Seebach’s latest album – which is no bad thing, of course. This song doesn’t really go anywhere, though. It’s all set up for a great climax, but it doesn’t come.
Perhaps I should rephrase that.
Aya’s Best Thing I Got opens with a startling trumpet rattle – it’s a jolly, Motown-inspired track with some nice string backing and a solid chorus. Aya’s vocal sounds a bit like a higher-pitched Duffy, which might not be to everyone’s taste. And the ending is very clunky, almost as if they forgot it needs to be three minutes’ long. Oops.
Kenneth Potempa’s Reach For The Sky reminded me instantly of Take That’s Greatest Day. I don’t mean that as a criticism, either – Gary Barlow is a great inspiration. And a bit of Coldplay, though I’m rather less enthused with those moaners. This is an all right song, and it’s got mass appeal.
Last year’s 25 Hours A Day had us schlager fans obsessing over a ‘new’ band from Denmark called Le Freak. So it was a huge disappointment to discover that the rest of their repertoire was pure dansband. Lead singer Ditte Marie must have been aware of this, because she’s back with the fantastic electro-schlager (yep, I’m creating that term) Overflow (no YouTube link exists yet). Of course, the song has crossed the Øresund to get to her – Hanif Sabzevari wrote Ola’s Unstoppable, Mike Eriksson did Carola’s Genom allt (!), and Johnny Sanchez has produced Man Meadow. Obviously the one I want to win. And there’s a key-change.
Baby Love Me is a ballad performed by Philip Halloun and Emilia. A stunningly crafted song, Finnish Emilia’s soft vocal’s blend perfectly with Philip’s rockier tones. If you remember the Beautiful South, you’ll know what to expect. I really didn’t expect to like this that much, but I absolutely love it. Baby.
Suriya was one half of S.O.A.P., but now she’s solo on Forever I B Young. In terms of Melodi Grand Prix, this is as hard and grimy as it gets. A bit of a risk – it’ll be interesting to see if she can make anything of it in the show. But there’s a perfectly timed dance break that she’d better make the most of…
Karen Viuff’s Universe is a nice piece of bland commercial pop-rock. It doesn’t light up my world – perhaps if the chorus was a bit more ambitious it could hit home harder. I wouldn’t rule it out of a good placing, though – probably because it’s unchallenging – the polar opposite to Suriya’s song. This is another one with a clumsy ending, though.
If Karen Viuff has played it safe, Soluna Samay is going for it a bit more (just a bit) in Should’ve Known Better. She’s backed by well-known producers Chief 1 and Remee, as well as rapper Isam B (in a production role here), and all four have created a solid song that will appeal to a broad spectrum. It’s not setting the world alight, but it’s good.
The song that originally caused a stir in the schlager world (OK, village), Venter is a duet between Danish Christian Brøns and Swedish Patrik Isaksson. Although whenever Patrik competed in Melodifestivalen, I didn’t see much excitement from the fans, so it was interesting to see him become so relevant as soon as he went to Denmark. But enough of my carping. This is probably the song to beat. Patrik, perhaps wisely, opts to sing in Swedish rather than try to get his tongue around Danish vowels, but it only adds charm. You know what you’re getting – tight composing, guitars and a nice finish. And an English version if it gets to Baku!
So, I want Ditte Marie to win, though I won’t be surprised, or disappointed, if Christian and Patrik go all the way. And at the risk of being slapped down, I’d also like Philip and Emilia’s ballad to do well.