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Friday, February 14, 2014

Melodifestivalen 2014 Heat Three: Preliminary Judgment

Hoping for a bit of a rebound in quality this week. So far I'm not sure we've heard the winner for 2014. I'm thinking that victor will eventually be plucked from next week's Heat Four, but what's in store for us this Saturday?

(Listen to clips here)

1. Outrigger - Echo
Hate. Hate. HATE. This has no place in MF. I'd hesitate to even call it music. Easily the single worst thing we've heard this year, and probably last year too. 0/5

2. EKO - Red
I really like the sound of this woman's voice. Kinda Kate Bush-esque. The song sounds very nice, too. Not sure it's one fo this specific contest, but I can imagine playing it quite often outside the confines of MF. 3.5/5

3. Oscar Zia - Yes We Can
The hook sounds pretty damn catchy and I'm definitely a fan of the production. Not sure about the verses yet, but if he's got a good performance to go along with this, I think I'll love it. 4/5

4. Shirley Clamp - Burning Alive
There seems to be a lot of drama around this one. I can't quite tell if the melody's very strong, but the general sound is promising and she sounds great. I'll be cautiously optimistic about this one, too. 3.5/5

5. State Of Drama - All We Are
I didn't like their song last year at all. This sounds a bit better, but still very, very generic... like they were trying to write a song by Fun. That said, the galvanizing production sounds nice. 3/5

6. CajsaStina Åkerström - En enkel sång (A simple song)
Basically, it's "Songbird" Part Two. Her voice is lovely, the song seems pleasant, but I can't find myself getting all that excited over it. That could change the more I hear it. 3/5

7. Ace Wilder - Busy Doin' Nothing
I really like this girl, but this sounds kind of like a mess. Another case of very little melody and overly busy production trying to make up for it. A pity, because I was looking forward to her entry. 2.5/5

8. Dr. Alban and Jessica Folcker - Around The World
Meh. Nothing horrible, nothing blazingly special. I wish I was more excited by the clip. Maybe it'll amount to more in full. Right now, it sounds pretty forgettable. 2.5/5

Ugh. I hope they're saving the best for last, because even though I like a few of these clips, I'm not really getting inspired (and who the hell let entry #1 in the room?). Based on name recognition, I think State Of Drama and Shirley may get through. I hope Oscar and EKO can make a dent. Unfortunately, there'll be no live blog tomorrow as I'll be working during the contest, but I'll be back for Heat Four!

Also, today is Alienhits' Eighth Anniversary!! Freaking hell, I've been at this awhile :)


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Bangtan Boys - Boy In Luv

Let's get that gag-worthy title out of the way, since it's only a translation (and not even a direct one, at that), and instead focus on the fiery guitar riffs that form the background of this rap/rock/k-pop confection. Bangtan Boys, or BTS as they're more commonly known, have never really caught my attention before. Their music tends to rely more on hip-hop swagger than melody. But this track has all the elements I love. There's that ferocious guitar work, the chanted, hypnotic hook and, of course, the bucket loads of attitude throughout. It's a pity that the rest of the mini-album isn't to my taste, but I am 100% behind this single.

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. Buy the album here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuomas Holopainen - A Lifetime Of Adventure

"Try the freedom of an open road"

This is a little different than the usual stuff that I post, but I think it's just perfect for Winter. I'm a huge fan of the symphonic bombast of Finnish band Nightwish. I rated their latest album as my second favorite of 2011 and still play it a lot today. Now, the brains behind the band, Tuomas Holopainen, is about to release his first solo project. It's a concept album based on the graphic novel... wait for it... "The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck." No clue. I'm just going to ignore that fact, though, and concentrate on the beautiful music. This track forgoes his usual bombast and ups the symphonic quotient, with a gorgeous guest vocal by Johanna Kurkela. It's the kind of song that draws you in with its lush tranquility, but keeps you with its lasting melody and sheer musicianship.

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. Preorder the album here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Vic Heart - Jimmy Dean

"Rebel without a movie screen"

Oh, Sweden. I will never stop loving you. While the rest of the world is so concerned with following current radio trends, I can always count on Sweden to be all about the POP. It doesn't matter if it seems uncool or old-school or whatever... if it's got a good melody and hook, it doesn't need a dubstep breakdown or a EDM drop or some Mumford-and-Sons-strummy-crap. Vic Heart's music seems to be unconcerned with things like genre. It's just good old fashioned, guitar based pop with a funky beat and great melody. This, I love. It's kind of surprising, too, because the list of artists he compares himself to (John Mayer, Maroon 5, Keith Urban) are all acts I... well, to put it nicely, they're not my cup of tea. Something's different about this, though. It doesn't seem to try hard, but it's just effortlessly breezy and cool. Must be that Swedish touch.

Jimmy Dean by Vic Heart on Grooveshark

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. Buy the song here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.