It’s that time again…
The assembled press corps in Göteborg have had the privilege of hearing the eight songs that will be competing at Scandinavium on Saturday night. Schlagerfiasko hasn’t.
Here’s what they’ve got to say, to which I will have the nerve to add my own opinion after Elsa’s snack-och-lyssna session tomorrow evening.
As always, the experts in which we trust are:
Ken Olausson and Ronny Larsson from QX magazine, aka Schlagerprofilerna
Torbjörn Ek from Aftonbladet
Anders Nunstedt from Expressen
David Jørgensen from Schlagerfiasko (that’s me, the big expert)
Brolle – 7 Days And 7 Nights
Ken & Ronny: After listening to all the songs, we don’t think the standard is as good as last week’s event in Luleå. It’s a bit of a surprise that so many ‘meh’ songs ended up here in Göteborg. Brolle will be a crowd-pleaser. This sounds like Springsteen (Born To Run-era) and Bon Jovi. The radio will love it. It lacks a decent chorus, but Brolle should be in with a chance.
Tobbe: Brolle’s giving people what they want. It’s ‘rockabilly-lite’, much like his own Playing With Fire, with a bit more umph.
Anders: Well, the sound system was the best we’ve had in years. And we had free fizzy water. Nice. Thomas Hall (Melodifestivalen project manager) looked after us. This is a good track.
David: Is Elvis in the building? No, he’s not, but Brolle had me going for a second. Sadly, the song turns into boring rock’n'roll that has aspirations of reaching the heights of The Ark’s Calleth You, Cometh I, but gets stuck in traffic on the way.
Loreen – My Heart Is Refusing Me
Ken & Ronny: If Jenny Silver was this year’s Pernilla Wahlgren or Charlotte Perrelli, then Loreen is this year’s Jenny Silver (the Jenny Silver from last year). A beautiful electro number, very introvert and feels a bit French. Very 2011, but like Jenny last year, it’ll split the audience. A hard one.
Tobbe: This sounds like a remix of a ballad, but I really like it. This is what would get me on the dancefloor, but if it’s to do well she needs to perform it well. It’s possible that she won’t get far on Saturday, but will do well in the charts.
Anders: This is modern and works well.
David: Ooh this is intense. Loreen’s vocal is great, but the song doesn’t seem to be going anywhere – very little distinction between verse and chorus. It could also do with being a few beats fasters. Crank it up, girl!
Babsan – Ge mig en spanjor
Ken & Ronny: Ge mig en spanjor! Ge mig en sangria. Give me a Spanish man! Exactly what you’d expect from Babsan – she’s yearning for some hot Med men. This is old-school schlager. Not something to send to Eurovision, but something that is welcome in Melodifestivalen.
Tobbe: The kids are going to love this. Simple in song and vocal, it’s fine, but nothing like the hit that La Dolce Vita was. Lars-Åke Wilhelmsson knows how to deliver on stage, so that will be great. Marching music with added arriba!
Anders: Unfortunately, this isn’t even funny.
David: And here’s the grande-dame herself – not Bettan, Babsan. Madame is sporting an unfortunate shade of pink in the hår (think Mrs ”Pussy!” Slocombe from Are You Being Served?). This is actually a lot better than I thought – the flamenco beats work a treat, but the chorus fails to engage as much as it should. Nice footwork, though, Babs.
Elisabeth Andreassen – Vaken i en dröm
Ken & Ronny: A stunning ballad. Anyone who wanted a Helen Sjöholm-style song will be happy, even if it’s Bettan doing Evighet. But it’s not as exciting, sadly. This could sink without a trace.
Tobbe: This is perfectly timed on stage straight after Babsan’s madness. It’s a huge ballad in Swedish, so will get extra votes for that. There’s no Empty Room-style chorus to grab our attention, but it’s a song that grows with Bettan’s voice, just like her Norwegian ballads did in Eurovision.
Anders: The lyrics might actually be pretentious crap.
David: The other grande-dame of the evening is Bettan, with a gorgeous ballad. It’s actually a lot more Norwegian-sounding than I ever thought it would be. Bettan’s challenging herself with a wide-ranging vocal, and it’s super. This is the trad bit sorted. In a week where the songs are struggling to engage, it could slip into the top-four.
Sanna Nielsen – I’m In Love
Ken & Ronny: We love Sanna. Who can’t love the Amazon from Brömolla who always manages to get to Globen and is still the world’s loveliest person? But this is disappointing. It’s nicely produced, but following on from Jenny Silver last week, not to mention Empty Room, I think we all wanted something a bit more than Vågar du, vågar jag with better production… It starts off like What A Feeling, but then the chorus stalls. Never discount Sanna, but we’re not betting on this one.
Tobbe: This begins softly, but turns into a total pop-disco-schlager-pleaser. Writers Bobby Ljunggren and Thomas G:son have taken a lot from Evighet, but this is a simpler version. I’d like to hear more of the voice that sang Empty Room.
Anders: Didn’t like it on first listen.
David: Strutting! This is this week’s Jenny Silver moment, and should do the business. This is a grower, to be honest. Again, same problem – engage, engage, engage. It doesn’t engage. Really need to see the full three minutes and performance. (Cut to Saturday: ”OHMYGODIT’SAMAZINGETCETCETC”).
The Moniker – Oh My God!
Ken & Ronny: Do you remember The Wallstones from 2005? Take that, add a bit of Rongedal and Mika, and take a few magic pop mushrooms and you get The Moniker. Sort of. It sounds good after hearing the old schlager of Bettan and Babsan, and he’ll have some Idol backing like Anna Bergendahl did last year. Undoubtedly in the top four.
Tobbe: Daniel Karlsson, aka The Moniker has been listening to Alexander Bard’s advice that schlager should be like a fanfare – and that’s exactly what this is. It’s a sixties-style fanfare that Liverpool tried in 2003, but sounds more like Andreas Johnson and Sebastian Karlsson – thankfully.
Anders: Le Kid’s Oh My God got to fifth place last week, and something tells me that this will do the same.
David: Is he taking the fucking piss?
Anniela – Elektrisk
Ken & Ronny: The verses are thin, but the chorus is great. This is danceable electropop in Swedish. Jäklagt coolt att den är på svenska!
Tobbe: What will happen to Elektrisk? This is Linda Bengtzing-does-electro (can the two ever be reconciled? Yes they can!), but can it work on stage? If Anniela acts like Bengtzing, then she could make progress.
Anders: This is Linda Bengtzing disco with a Leila K polish and synthesizers.
David: The wrong key! And Manboy. It’s quite shocking how much it sounds like Manboy. No, Annalie. Go and talk to Dannii Minogue, then come back and do it PROPERLY.
Christian Walz – Like Suicide
Ken & Ronny: This would fit right in on Darin’s new album. The bridge sounds like it’s come from Katy Perry’s Firework, but Ronny reckons it’s boring. Ken’s more optimistic, but if people think Christian is this year’s Salem Al Fakir, then it could be a threat…
Tobbe: This is a credible effort – but cred isn’t always what the Melodifestivalen audience wants. The falsetto-chorus-deep-verse thing sounds a little like Darin mixed with Salem. It all hangs on the performance – how good can he be on the telly?
Anders: It’s a grower. Salem Al Fakir and Darin from last year. Sorry, I have to go, I didn’t have lunch and the hotel kitchen is closing soon.
David: Wow, this is amazing! And anti-schlager, but we can cope. It’s going to win. Nu-classic with lovely strings and drama.
There you have it. Read what they had to say in their own words at: