Music

Melodifestivalen 2017: Heat 1

Melodifestivalen, the Swedish Eurovision selection. I’ve watched this for the past five years and it’s a hugely valuable resource of good pop songs so I will continue to do so and cover my thoughts on the nights of each heat.

This heat contained a load of great songs. I wasn’t as motivated last year to be excited about Melodifestivalen as I am now, so that’s already a great start, that it’s better than the previous year, as most of the time it’s gone the other way – 2012 and 2013 were the best years for me, when I first started watching. And most amazingly, it was done without any rock. There was an amazing ode to the lost rock, when host Hasse Andersson teamed up with previous rockstar entrant Ralf Gyllenhammar to do some old-school rocking out in the interval, which was the best moment of the night, but it was a great show otherwise.

The best part of Melodifestivalen is that, unlike other music shows, it’s the unveiling of a plethora of new major hit songs on live television, and they’re already in fierce competition with each other. So I was pleased that this time that nearly all of them were the sort of songs that sounded very fun and were good songs. In order:

Boris René, he of the footballer turned into pop star, has moved up from his basic song last year and returned with something clearly inspired by Bruno Mars, Pharrell and the whole pop-funk revolution that’s been being the good part of super popular pop lately. Her Kiss is a very fun pop song and it was no surprise to me to see Sweden take to it enough to send it to Andra Chansen, although I was expecting it to go a little further.

Adrijana certainly seems like a talented singer but lacked stage presence for what was an admittedly nice song in Amare, but I struggle to see how it beat anyone, let alone someone with as much presence as Perrelli.

Dinah Nah, like Boris, certainly improved on her previous attempt with Make Me to make One More Night a very fun tune that reminds me of Cash Cash’s latest dance tracks like Surrender, people will say they’re awful but I can get very addicted to them. I suspect this will be a song I enjoy better in studio though, live it didn’t quite come together and that contributed to her exit. I know my gay male friends were going wild for it, at least I can understand it a bit more than with Make Me.

De Vet Du looked like idiots during their stage performance. I assume that their career means that they are accustomed to looking that way. But the breakdown chorus on it was pretty awesome and so I grant Road Trip a major pass in my books.

Charlotte Perrelli clearly did not give one little fuck about how she did in this contest and proved it in a fairly tame way by giving us the requisite simpering slow ballad accompanied by a little bit of guitar strumming. Far from the highlights she’s capable of providing Sweden with but also with the knowledge that that is probably past her. Her song was the weakest of the night but her attitude… was acceptable.

Ace Wilder was the song I was most excited about tonight. I really liked her first hit with Busy Doin Nothin’, it was fun and a real modern anthem. Don’t Worry was okay but I felt it was treading old ground a bit too much and never really took to it as much. Wild Child, although the title seems like you’ve can expect exactly what her ‘acting down with the kids’ act will sound like, yes it is that, but it’s also very very very good. Great, pleasing, musical progression, she sounds like a star, I would be tipping it to finally go the distance for her and win already were it not for…

Nano, whose Hold On brings a huge crooner to the forefront of Melfest, complete with an epic-sounding drum and bass instrumental. He’s got a very good thing going and I’m not arguing with him in the slightest, I love it.

Both those last two are through to the final, it’s only the first of four heats and we already have two strong contenders. It’s sure to be a wild ride Sweden, I’m ready for the rest.

 

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