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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Melodifestivalen 2010: Final Predictions

Okay, so there are only two ways that I think this can go tomorrow.

a) Anna Bergendahl wins the public vote and the favor of the international juries with her overrated ballad This Is My Life.

b) Anna takes the public vote, but the international juries go with Timoteij, resulting in a split (or possibly, Timoteij rightfully taking the crown)

You'll notice that I'm pretty confident that Anna will win the public vote. My evidence? She's been atop the Swedish itunes singles chart since the MF songs were released, she was the first to the final in her respective heat, and she was lucky to have a spot in the final heat, making her a fresh commodity in voters' minds.

The only other possible upsets (besides Timoteij) would be Darin or Salem, but I don't see them getting above second place. I hope I'm wrong. If Anna ends up winning, it'll be the most boring MF winner in years.

So, here's how I predict the results to pan out, give or take a few minor changes in the middle:

1. Anna Bergendahl
2. Timoteij
3. Salem Al Fakir
4. Darin
5. Eric Saade
6. Jessica Andersson
7. Peter Joback
8. Ola
9. Andreas Johnson
10. Pernilla Wahlgren

Now, if I was determining the winners, they'd look a little more like this:

1. Timoteij
2. Ola
3. Eric Saade
4. Darin
5. Salem Al Fakir
6. Peter Joback
7. Pernilla Wahlgren
8. Anna Bergendahl
9. Jessica Andersson
10. Andreas Johnson

Of course, it's not going to look anything like that.

On the plus side, having listened to the full MF album quite a bit lately, it's really been a remarkably consistent year for entries with some superb standouts (which, ironically, aren't even in the final). Neo and Alcazar, especially, are among the best MF songs of the past couple of years.

Be sure to check back tomorrow. I'll be live-blogging the final, if svt's video stream actually lets me watch it!


I love these over-the-top openings! American Idol could learn a thing or two. Lots of fun.

Thoughts on Darin: looks much more like a popstar than last time. The curtain things were a nice addition, too. I still love this song.

Thoughts on Pernilla: Meh. Same old, same old. The song seems too lightweight to be any competition. It's fun, though, as usual.

Thoughts on Andreas: Poor guy. I feel like everyone's forgotten about him. The song's nice and he sings it well, but it's not memorable enough compared to the other ballads in the final. On the plus side, it sounds like it should be on the soundtrack of some big action movie, doesn't it?

Thoughts on Timoteij: This is so Eurovision it's ridiculous. I didn't even like it at first, but I've completely come around to its charms. The rightful winner, whether they pull it off or not.

Thoughts on Peter: He seemed to be very well-liked in the stadium, though he still doesn't have a chance of winning. This is one of my favorite ballads of the competition, though. And the addition of the choir made it MASSIVE.

Thoughts on Ola: Oh, Ola. So under-appreciated in the context of MF. He's still got one of my favorite songs this year but seems doomed to finish in the bottom five. He's bringing the energy back, though, and getting out in the crowd!

Thoughts on Jessica: This song seems to have gained momentum. I've gotta admit, I wasn't an early fan. But it's definitely catchy... sort of Abba-ish. Jessica herself is very ruffly tonight.

Thoughts on Salem: Salem could be a darkhorse. It was smart to release the album this week. It was also a good move to step away from the piano at the end. A bit more energy.

Thoughts on Anna: Here we go. To reiterate, this song is not bad. But it should by no means win the whole thing. There are SO many better acts this year. Like, almost all of them.

Thoughts on Eric: Such a ridiculous entry, but so much fun. Thank god they closed on an uptempo. The performance is what really makes this a contender. It's entertainingly staged, for sure, and the crowd loved it (almost as much as Anna?).

It's a testament to Melodifestivalen, by the way, that there wasn't an act in the final this year that I wanted to skip over.

UPDATE: That medley was EPIC. MF is powerful. Only it could be enough of a draw to get last year's Eurovision winner to perform on the finale.

UPDATE: Darin takes the first 12 points! Please continue this way!

UPDATE: That's two 12-pointers for Ola! Thank GOD.

UPDATE: And Anna starts to pull away. Groan.

UPDATE: It looks like a neck and neck race between Anna and Salem. Here's hoping Salem edges out.

UPDATE: Casablanca's cover of La Voix was pretty awesome. I love that they reinvent the songs like this each year. And bringing Malena back on was inspired. BRILLIANT.

UPDATE: Moment of truth... and the winner is Anna :( Very poor result, as evidenced by the international juries, which didn't care for this track at all. We'll see how it goes down in Oslo. My guess? It'll get lost in the shuffle, and rightfully so.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Alcazar - Glamourama

"I can see your glamourama shining bright"

Consider this post a tribute to the band that should have been in the Melodifestivalen final this Saturday. Headlines is still one of my favorites from this year, but Alcazar have been creating top-class pop music for years now. The fittingly-titled Glamourama is a little-known track from 2005, relegated to b-side status. However, it's one of the group's most aggressive grooves, built on a looped guitar that adds an incredible sense of urgency to the mix. The group is pure camp, but know how to deliver it in a mainstream way tailor made for the dancefloor. This, with an energy somewhat remeniscent of Alphabeat's excellent Touch Me, Touching You, is not something you can sit down and drink tea to. In fact, sitting down at all is pretty much impossible. The final third, when the beat drops out then slowly builds back for what seems like forever, is simply epic. The lyrics are pure cheese, but they're not important. It's all about the production, here. Consider this one for the club kids. Play it loud.

Alcazar - Glamourama  by  alienhits

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy their most recent album here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Salem Al Fakir - Virgin Mary

"Home is the place I thought I'd found"

After the brilliance of last year's Roxy, Salem Al Fakir went in the exact direction I hoped he'd go with his new album Ignore This. Compared to his first album, this is like a totally different artist. Almost all of the songs are synth-based and there are more than a few uptempo, radio-ready hits. The sound is a lot more like the collaborations Salem's done in the past than his actual stuff. Virgin Mary is the initial standout, and one of the catchier tracks on the album. From the burst of synths that kick off the song, you get the feel that this is a different stage in his career. It's more than a little Prince, actually, much like his excellent collaboration with Staygold earlier this year. It's got the driving energy that was missing from his dreamy (and also excellent) Melodifestivalen entry. This had better be a single. Bravo, Salem. This is my kind of stuff!!

Salem Al Fakir - Virgin Mary  by  alienhits

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy the album here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.


Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Erik Hassle - Standing Where You Left Me

"Man, you really hit me hard"

Much has already been said on this blog and others about the brilliant Swedish artist Erik Hassle. He's currently involved in a frustratingly stalling attempt to break through around the world. His excellent first single, Hurtful, is already a hit around Europe, and should be everywhere. His debut was just released in the UK, including a new (ie: crappier) cover and tracklist. Most of the songs remain intact, with a pair of new ones tacked on (not counting the deluxe version, which includes even more new tracks). One of the newbies is Standing Where You Left Me, which displays quite nicely the blending of genres that makes his album such a pleasant surprise. The synths that open this are gorgeous and the chorus has a thrust to it that, complemented by his vocals, is pure perfection. I love this guy, and I'm continually annoyed with the international handling of him. But this track is certainly a nice treat to come out of the reissue.

Erik Hassle - Standing Where You Left Me by alienhits

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy the album here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.


Monday, March 08, 2010

Kiss Kiss Kiss - Miss Meredith

"I still hold my breath"

Danish band Kiss Kiss Kiss have been on my radar for awhile now, and they've just released their debut album, Release the Birds. Think of them as a slightly poppier electronic (ie: Danish) Franz Ferdinand. They've got that herky jerky rock sound that's heavily influenced by dance and new wave. This particular track opens with some fantastic synths (that I wish stayed around for the entire song) before launching into a funky verse that explodes into an even better chorus. I love it when bands are self referential in songs. The Mo used to do that all the time. There's something charmingly un-modest about it. It doesn't hurt that the "kiss kiss kiss" part is easily the catchiest hook of the bunch.

Kiss Kiss Kiss - Miss Meredith  by  alienhits

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy the album here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.