There’s a saying that if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. It’s a saying I generally believe in, and part of the reason why I’ve been agonising for twenty-four hours about what to say about “Melodifestivalen #4”. Even though I watched it yesterday afternoon, it’s not until tonight that I’ve known what to say.
The problem was that none of the songs instantly connected with me. It wasn’t until a second viewing earlier tonight that I began to connect with any of the songs. In the end there’s two songs which I think are quite good. By a long shot, I liked “Dance Alone” by Love Generation, an all-girl group with shades of The Spice Girls. Beyond that, I half-liked Linda Bengtzing’s song “E det fel på mej” (“Is It Wrong Of Me”). Linda is a great Swedish schlager artist who just missed out on representing Sweden a couple of years ago in Eurovision with “Hur svårt kan det va” (“How Hard Can That Be?”. She lost to “Hero” by Charlotte Perrelli.
Beyond that, I thought it was slim pickings this week with far too many awful rock ballads – “Run” by Anders Fernette and “Leaving Home By Nicke Borg” – far too many half-arsed copy cats – “The Hunter” by “The Melody Club” had shades of former Swedish Eurovision entrant, “The Ark”, and “Better Or Worse” by Julia Alvgard was little more than karaoke – as well as the truly bizarre.
And by bizarre, I mean Lasse Stefanz singing “En Blick Och Nånting Händer” (“A Look And Something Happens”). Lasse Stefanz is a “country music inspired dansband” according to Wikipedia. From what I can see the Dansband phenomenon is quite big in Sweden – they’ve inspired a national tv show like Idol – which centres around a bunch of often middle-aged blokes doing cover versions. You could imagine them playing a RSL clubs in Australia on a Sunday afternoon. But somehow, they’ve reached greater heights in Sweden. “And why, I just don’t know” – to quote ABBA.
In the end, Linda Bengtzing made it through to the final, and so did Nicke Borg. Frankly, I can’t see either giving Eric Saade much competition in the final to represent Sweden at Eurovision this year. Hopefully, Love Generation might make it through to the final also via appearing in “Andra chansen” (the “another chance semi final”). So anyway, a bit disappointed again this week, especially compared with last week which was quite good.
In the end, I’ll leave you with “The Ark”. They were Sweden’s entry in Eurovision in 2007 with their glam-rock inspired stylings and a very catchy tune, “Not The Worrying Kind”. I’m more of a fan of their hit song last year, though.