Well, they’re not lost, but here we go again anwyay. I’m not commenting at all, as I feel that hearing a 60-second grab of the song can’t justify a review. In other words, I’ve been utterly wrong on first listen about some really important songs, and I’m not prepared to do my readers a disservice by wasting their time with opinions I’m likely to do a complete 180 on within a few hours. At least the experts have heard the full thing twice, and have access to the rehearsals.
So, comme d’habitude, the gobby guys are:
Ken Olausson and Ronny Larsson from QX magazine, aka Schlagerprofilerna
Torbjörn Ek from Aftonbladet
Anders Nunstedt from Expressen
Linda Sundblad – Lucky You
Ken & Ronny: Ronny: Hate it. Ken: It’s just bland.
Tobbe: Sounds like Aqua with the plastic replaced by electric guitars. Has lots of woo-hoo, but could do with some more.
Anders: Sounds like everything else Lambretta Linda has done. But I like it.
Simon Forsberg – Tid att andas
Ken & Ronny: Our beloved Mr Gay Sweden winner has given us a stunning Sonja Aldén-style ballad that harks back to the classics we’ve heard in previous years. The key change features a full choir. Amazing.
Tobbe: This is the sort of ballad that hasn’t been successful for years. Erik Linder gave it a go last year, and Shirley Clamp couldn’t make it succeed in 2009. Anyone who loves Israel’s Eurovision ballads will adore this.
Anders: Mr Gay Sweden doesn’t sound like Mr Gay Sweden. He sounds like Mrs Sonja Aldén.
Sara Lumholdt – Enemy
Ken & Ronny: Modern, mid-tempo ballad that sounds half-Rihanna, half-Evanesence. Nice and fresh, it’ll be interesting to see what Sara does on stage.
Tobbe: Sassy – Sara will bring it on stage. But will that be reflected on screen? Mean girls don’t always succeed. It’ll be interesting to hear the live vocal.
Anders: This is A-Teens Sara in a modern mid-tempo track that takes a bit from Rihanna. It hangs on the chorus.
The Playtones – The King
Ken & Ronny: Rockabilly guitars… sounds exactly as you’d expect. A bit like if you crossed the theme to Batman with something from Dansbandskampen.
Tobbe: Sounds like Aristocats. Do you remember Scat Cat? Not my type of music. There’s a handclap section that will go down will, though.
Anders: All fans of the True Blood theme will love this. But then it gets to the chorus and goes all rockabilly twang and sounds like dansband.
Shirley’s Angels – I Thought It Was Forever
Ken & Ronny: If you’ve heard Ace Of Base’s would-be Bond theme The Juvenile, then you’ll know what this is like. The chorus is catchy, but the verses are harder. A stylish production of a song that tries to be a new Min kärlek – in which it succeeds.
Tobbe: The intro reminds me of Barbra Streisand’s No More Tears. This is written by Alexander Bard, Bobby Ljunggren, Henrik Wikström and Robin Abraham, and is great. Effective. This will definitely be a favourite of the schlagergays.
Anders: Alexander Bard and Bobbalobba Ljunggren are two of the four songwriters on this thing, which sounds like a Dutch attempt to do Swedish schlager. In 2002.
Sebastian – No One Else Could
Ken & Ronny: A bit Killers, a bit Melody Club. There’s a great chorus with a nice whistle-loop in the background. I’d like it to be a bit more – perhaps the performance will do that.
Tobbe: The best bit of Sebastian’s song is the flute or whistle bit that opens the number and is repeated in the chorus. Anonymous verses with a great refrain. Tough week for him, though.
Anders: Idol‘s Sebastian is no longer rocking. This is a bit like Nick Kamen-does-The-Killers-remixed-by-the-Pet-Shop-Boys.
Sara Varga – Spring för livet
Ken & Ronny: This is lovely, Lisa Ekdahl-style pop. An oasis in the middle of all the contemporary stuff. This will appeal to many, and could cause an upset.
Tobbe: Sara’s brittle voice coupled with this bossa nova reminds me of a young Monica Törnell. Very emotional, I could cry to this while I knock back red wine and obsess over everyone who’s wronged me.
Anders: Lisa Ekdahl with sweet bossa nova coupled with dark lyrics about being mistreated in a relationship.
Eric Saade – Popular
Ken & Ronny: Style, new, hard, cool. Significantly stronger than Manboy – the best song this week, by far. We’ve heard his performance will be amazing. Danny, your challenger has arrived.
Tobbe: The contrast of this after Sara Varga is quite clear. The modern production, with cool lighting and special effects will work really well. It feels quite 80s in places – Lili och Susie’s Oh Mama! in the chorus, and Boney M’s Rasputin in there, too.
Anders: Is Eric singing ”Popular” as many times as he sang ”Manboy” before? It feels like it. This will still be unbeatable on Saturday. Less of a song and more of a stage show.