Music

Melodifestivalen 2017: Week 3

So coming off one of the best songs of this year so far finishing 5th in Heat 2, we obviously need to move right on with dispensing away with more fantastic songs in the 5th position. Because that’s what just happened tonight. But let’s take everything in order of finishing position.

First up, Krista Siegfrieds. Poor Krista, she seems desperate for Sweden to accept her and certainly gives some very strong pop songs but nothing seems to stick and she went out ingloriously in seventh even though she had a passable song. I wouldn’t mind her improving Finland’s chances again even if her Finnish entry was hardly my favourite Finland entry, it’s still better than what they’ve been doing lately. Came in seventh as we were all expecting.

Then Jasmine Kara, who had the most ridiculously overpopulated pop song with so many disparate elements in and somehow, I enjoyed it. In a way that I wouldn’t really want to admit to anyone and that’s exactly why I’m posting about it on my publically viewable blog. Basically a charmingly rubbish pop song but again, I’m not surprised that it was out in 6th.

It’s the next entry which is where the problem is. The third and final female led song in this heat, Bella & Filippa, finishing 5th, causing a complete gender disparity between the top 4 and the bottom 3. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not on the case for sexism in popular music shows because I have better things to do with my time and music is subjective, maybe all the people voting for the ‘hot men’ just liked their songs. But the fact is that Crucified was a very uplifting, upbeat and happy pop song that I saw nothing but positive reactions for, and it went out to some of the limpest male pop I’ve ever seen in Melodifestivalen.

Most of the male pop in Melodifestivalen is limp, it’s a rare beast when it isn’t because it’s basically copy and pasted from the wider world’s pop songs for the most part, whether you’re a boyband, solo singer or Timberlake-alike. Last year, Robin Bengtsson’s Constellation Prize was a fairly competent and solid, if slightly unexciting pop song and I liked it well enough. This year though, with I Can’t Go On, he seems to have done everything in his power to make it sound completely boring. Even the swear word he’s dropped in is sung with all the charm and passion of a withered husk. And yet it went straight to the final.

What was even worse was some guy parading around pretending he’s Shawn Mendes, otherwise known as the worst human in music for his dull pop and tendency to make nice guy songs. Anton Hagman had no such dodgy lyrics but the music was just as terrible. It was when he went to AC that I knew this heat had gone a bit wrong.

Fortunately, and you might not expect this given the way I’ve been railing about guys and boyband songs, I really liked the other two songs. Well, The FO&O didn’t reinvent anything at all, it was very much a boyband track and that’s all it was. But unlike Anton, Benjamin or Robin, it was charming and I found myself kind of dancing along. In my head. From my chair. Alone. I am cool. Probably cooler looking than they were.

The best song from this heat however, and I’m very pleased to report that it went straight through, was sung by veteran music artist Owe Thornqvist and was called Boogieman Blues. It was an utter joy to behold live, Owe played a harmonica, had choral female voices backing him up, looked amazing for his advanced age and made the whole thing just as much of a joy as Hasse himself did a few years ago. As I said last week, up with Swedish old men.

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