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Saturday, March 09, 2013

Melodifestivalen 2013: The Final

Who's ready to watch Yohio win? Just kidding... maybe there will be an upset? I've made it quite clear that I'd love to see Ulrik or Anton take the title, but we'll see...

* My god that's a huge arena! The kid hosts are very cute. They remind me of Awa and Isak of this year's XF Swe

* Is Kisses Of Fire really one of Abba's popular songs? I never thought so, but they used it for this and it was also featured prominently in the 2004 final. Was it a single in Sweden? Regardless, it's a great track.

ULRIK: If only this could win. Either way, I'm still obsessed with the song and the fact that his entry music is Calleth You, Cometh I still gets me excited. Vocals were on point tonight and the changes in the staging were interesting, if not entirely necessary. Come on, voters!!

DAVID: I find this guy so annoying. His presentation is so incredibly needy. It's a shame, because the song's not bad. He just makes the most irritating facial expressions when he performs. Is it just me?

STATE OF DRAMA: I could see this coming last place, honestly. It's a nice breakthrough for them, but the song is so, so boring and dated. I think it'll probably finish between 7th and 9th, but who knows.

ANTON: Huge applause at the announcement of his name. Could this guy actually win and become the first Andra Chansen victor? I'm not sure I see it happening, but it would be a nice surprise. The hair looks better today. Whatever happens, I'm excited at the prospect of an album by this guy. (btw... where was the awkward back/side flip towards the end? Instead, we got a really weird little twirl)

LOUISE: Now that I think about it, my former predictions might have been too optimistic. The audience certainly wasn't that enthused. It will be interesting to see where this finishes. It ain't winning. That much is for sure.

RALF: I feel like svt is really pushing him so far in this broadcast. First the gag at the beginning, then the Danny fireman outfit. I'm still about 95% sure that this will place somewhere in the top three. Could it win? Erm... I'd rather it not, but it wouldn't be a total travesty either. The audience wasn't quite as enthusiastic as I thought they would be, though.

RAVAILLACS: Like State Of Drama, this feels like a last place finisher, and I think the two will be duking it out for that... honor. I think anyone voting for them would vote for Louise or Ralf instead, and I don't see how the International Juries could give them any points.

SEAN: Agh! Get it off! Get it off!!!

ROBIN: I still don't understand why he enters to "Dude Looks Like A Lady." It just draws thoughts and comparisons that he probably doesn't want. I'm afraid I get the feeling like his thunder from last week has been stolen by Anton and he may suffer because of that. We'll see. This is maybe the most unpredictable entry in the final this year. Could do really well, could absolutely bomb. There's a slight bit of desperation in his performance that I just can't help but feel is somewhat off-putting.

YOHIO: Our presumed frontrunner. I was interested to see what the audience reception would be, and from the outset it doesn't seem to be as strong as I'd anticipated. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean anything (though going by applause in the arena, Anton has to be the clear frontrunner). I'm still predicting this to win, but I feel like there might be a little more wiggle room than we thought.

* Now comes the really interesting part. I am so, SO curious about how the International Juries went.

* AAAHHHH! Sara Dawn Finer!! Love her. This is a funny bit.

* Damn, Euphoria is such an amazing song. This was a stunning performance.


Cyprus - 12 points: Sean Banan (really?!?)
Spain - 12 points: Louise (weird...)
Italy - 12 points: Ulrik (yes!)
Iceland - 12 points: Robin (these are all over the place)
Malta - 12 points: David (jesus... this is so weird)
Ukraine - 12 points: Ralf
Israel - 12 points: Robin (could he win this?)
France - 12 points: Ulrik (come on, voters!)
England - 12 points: Ulrik (yes!!!!)
Croatia - 12 points: Robin
Germany - 12 points: David (wtf...)

So here's what we've got, and it's totally unexpected:
1. Robin
2. Ulrik
3. David

Meanwhile, Yohio is languishing toward the bottom. Can he still win? I REALLY hope Ulrik has a shot now.

* Carola is an amazing singer, but this is kind of a mess. And those hot pants! Wow.


1. Robin
2. Yohio
3. Ulrik (damn!)
4. Anton
5. Louise
6. Sean Banan
7. Ralf
8. David
9. State Of Drama
10. Ravaillacz

Well WTF?!?! I don't think anybody expected that! Not my favorite song, for sure, but not an embarrassment, either. The first Andra Chansen to win the Final. He's SHOCKED. I think we all are, to be honest.

That's it for another year, guys! I'll be back either tomorrow or Monday to discuss the results in more detail :)


Friday, March 08, 2013

Melodifestivalen 2013: Final Predictions

After tomorrow, Melodifestivalen will be over for another year. Although I complained a lot about the quality of entries during the first few heats, it's actually not such a bad final line-up this year. There's only one song I can't stand, and four or five that I like quite a bit. Unfortunately, my dream finishing order is not likely to be what actually happens tomorrow (though there's always a chance... especially with the international juries in play).
Everyone's saying it's Yohio's to lose, and I agree. But wouldn't it be fun if there was an upset? I'm not saying Yohio would be a terrible winner. I just think there are more interesting songs to choose from. It says something about Sweden that a skinny, effeminate, make-up wearing teen is the consensus choice. I can't hardly be mad at that, even though he's not my favorite act this year. Here's what I would like to see happen and what I think will happen tomorrow:

What Should Happen:

1. Ulrik Munther - Tell The World I'm Here (far and away my favorite entry in the final, and my favorite entry overall)
2. Anton Ewald - Beggin (unlike many others apparently, I actually love the song. Plus, it's the only act with decent dancing)
3. Yohio - Heartbreak Hotel (see? I don't hate it. I could be happy if it won. It's just not my favorite)
4. Robin Stjernberg - You (it's growing on me. I like the song, but I find his performance a little needy)
5. Ralf Gyllenhammer - Bed On Fire (I like the song, but I'm not too impressed with him)
6. Louise Hoffsten - Only The Dead Fish Follow The Stream (it's alright)
7. David Lindgren - Skyline (the song's okay, but I find him really obnoxious)
8. Ravaillacz - En Riktig Jävla Schlager (it's fun on its own terms, but just shouldn't have been in the final)
9. State Of Drama - Falling (snorefest. Feels like a non-entity)
10. Sean Banan - Copacabanana (horrific, unbearable, hideous, etc.)

What I Think Will Happen:

1. Yohio - Heartbreak Hotel (should receive widespread support in the public vote, and top three in juries)
2. Ralf Gyllenhammer - Bed On Fire (may become the Caroline Af Ugglas of this year. In other words, he'll get the older viewers' vote)
3. Ulrik Munther - Tell The World I'm Here (in a contest full of male teens, I'd count on his fan base to turn out the strongest)
4. Anton Ewald - Beggin (will get a nice public vote, but juries might not be as enthusiastic. The crying last week certainly won't hurt)
5. Robin Stjernberg - You (I can see him being a hit with the juries)
6. Sean Banan - Copacabanana (will get a ton of public votes, but I can't see the juries getting his shtick -- at least I hope not)
7. Louise Hoffsten - Only The Dead Fish Follow The Stream (will benefit from being the only female, and could go higher. I could also see this getting lost in the shuffle, though)
8. State Of Drama - Falling (may pick up some of the "rock" vote)
9. David Lindgren - Skyline (will suffer the most from the glut of male performers in the final)
10. Ravaillacz - En Riktig Jävla Schlager (I just don't see much more than a pity vote for these guys)

So how do you guys think I did? I guess we'll see tomorrow. What are your top ten? As always, I'll be live blogging on Saturday! No matter what happens, it should be a good show.


Thursday, March 07, 2013

Fall Out Boy - My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light 'Em Up)

"I'm just dreaming of tearing you apart"

Oh, how I used to despise Fall Out Boy. The whiny emo-ness of their music was everywhere on American radio for a couple of years. So it's with a hell of a lot of surprise that I write about their comeback single today. The music video for My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light 'Em Up) literally depicts the band's previous albums being burnt in a fire. It's time for a rebirth, and that includes a reinvention of sound. Lead singer Patrick Stump showed what an amazingly soulful and powerful vocalist he is with his solo album, and now he's using that same inflection and style in this track. Ridiculously long title aside, this is not the Fall Out Boy of old. It's funky, industrial and impossibly catchy. If the album turns out to be anything like this, then I might just have to take back all of my former opinions and become an actual fan.

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


Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Le Kid - We Are Young

"I wanted you to get me high"

The treats from Sweden just keep coming. This morning, I woke to discover that Le Kid have made an unexpected (at least to me) comeback! This can only be a good thing. We Are Young kicks off right away with a surging electronic beat. Then, as expected from the title, the song builds into a big "seize the moment" hook. It's got some brilliant production, with layered, shouty vocals and a persistent pop energy. Honestly, though, do I really need to describe it? It's new Le Kid! That should be enough. I'm hoping this means a new album is in the works, because so far this and Human Behaviour (from last year) are sounding so promising.

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


Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Haim - Falling

"If it gets rough, it's time to get rough"

I'm a little late when it comes to Haim, but better late than never. I fully expect these girls to break out big time as the year goes on. They've already been recognized by the BBC. Their music is a fantastic mix of 80's and 90's hippie-pop... sort of a combination of Paula Cole, Stevie Nicks, 'Til Tuesday and maybe even a bit of Florence + The Machine. It's like nothing on the radio right now, which makes it instantly exciting. All three of the band's singles have been excellent, but this new one could be the song to break them into the mainstream. Falling has incredibly catchy verses and a syncopated chorus that will have you singing along (or at least trying to... the lyrics come pretty quickly). The vocal phrasing and harmonies are quickly becoming their trademark. There's something refreshingly organic about the sound, yet it retains the kind of strong pop elements I always look for. Bring on the album!

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


Monday, March 04, 2013

Ulrik Munther - Tell The World I'm Here

"All the world is waiting just for me"

Prepare for some general effusiveness, because I'm obsessed with this song. It's broken past the confines of Melodifestivalen for me and has become one of my favorite tracks of the year in a very short time. My relationship with the track went sorta like this:
1. High expectations - since I've liked Munther's work in the past and it was being touted as a possible MF winner
2. Slight disappointment - weirdly, when I heard the track for the first time, I questioned if it was too cheesy or if the melody was too simple. I'd set my expectations sky high -- a dangerous thing to do.
3. Coming to my senses - then I remembered that the best pop songs are simple, and I honed in on the majestic production and the fantastic vocals (particularly in the studio version).
4. Listening. Over and over. - Like, several times a day, which is rare for me. This is the kind of song I like. Big and anthemic and singalong. It's no coincidence that Munther entered to the Ark's Calleth You, Cometh I before debuting it, as the two songs share a similar sound. Nothing can be nearly as good as CYCI, but again... this is my kind of music.
Now, during the past week, it's become clear that Munther has lost his frontrunner status in MF. I would be thrilled if the international jury can bump him through, as I believe this is genuinely the best song in MF 2013. It's uplifting, it's positive, and it's performed by a guy who would represent Sweden well and already has an international fan base. But in the end it doesn't really matter, because his album is out in two days and this song is gonna stick around.

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

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