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Friday, January 31, 2014

Melodifestivalen 2014 Heat One: Preliminary Judgment

It is with great pleasure that I introduce my preliminary judgment for the first heat of this year's Melodifestivalen! It's always such an exciting time when MF kicks off. For pop enthusiasts like me, it really is manna from heaven. As always, these reviews are based on the one minute clips of the songs provided by svt and my opinions may change (and sometimes do) when I hear them in full tomorrow.

(Listen to clips here)

1. Yohio - To The End
Oh my god! What a way to kick things off. I wasn't much of a fan of his song last year, but this kind of big anthemic track is exactly the type of thing I love. It sounds kind of like Ulrik Munther's entry from last year, which you all know I absolutely adored. I really hope the full song is as good as this clip. So exciting. 5/5

2. Mahan Moin - Aleo
Sounds kind of like Gosa last year, but with more of a dance bent to it. Not sure about the verses, but that chorus sounds like it could stick. Altogether, quite promising for an artist I know nothing about. 3.5/5

3. Linus Svenning - Bröder (Brothers)
The first Swedish-language entry, and it sounds like a dramatic rock/indie track (with strings!). Like the two before it, the chorus sounds quite anthemic. Not sure about the vocals, but this could end up being really cool. Wow... three strong contenders in a row! Sweden is not messing around this year. 3.5/5

4. Elisa Lindström - Casanova
This is much more of an old-fashioned schlager throwback. That means I'm bound to really enjoy it, though it doesn't sound quite as strong as I'd like it to based on this clip. Still, it's nice to have this kind of music back in the competition and I have a feeling the full version will worm its way into my head very quickly. 3/5

5. Alvaro Estrella - Bedroom
God, I love the sound of this too. It's so funky and that chorus is amazing (and catchy as hell)! You can tell that Kristofer from Melody Club had a hand in writing this. We are so spoiled so far! This could be a surprise qualifier, easily, though it seems like he has a lot of competition in this strong heat. 5/5

6. Ellen Benediktson - Songbird
There's bound to be one downer in the crowd, and what's sad is that she might actually find a lot of success because there isn't anything else in this heat to really pit her against. The melody sounds nice (kind of like a song from one of Jewel's first to albums). I'm going to withhold judgment, because it sounds like it might build into something a little more epic. 3/5

7. Sylvester Schlegel - Bygdens Son (The Neighborhood's Son)
I should be predisposed to love this, since Sylvester was a part of my favorite band ever, the Ark, but this sounds nothing like the Ark. It's typical Swedish folk music. Not always my thing, but it doesn't sound like a particularly bad representation of the genre. I might end up loving it. At least it's uptempo! 3/5

8. Helena Paparizou - Survivor
Not really what I wanted from her (ie: I wanted a faster tempo), but it's certainly not bad. It does sound a little dated, but at the same time that chorus sounds pretty impactful. Still, I have a feeling she might not do as well as people may expect... 3.5/5

Wow! What an incredibly strong line-up. All I can say is we are so lucky that this year MF seems to be back on form. I'm not sure I've ever reviewed a week where I haven't given any track less than a "3". I can't wait until tomorrow to see how it all plays out! Right now, I'd like to see Yohio and Alvaro sail through, and I think there's a chance of that happening if Swedish audiences are in the mood for pop. There are so many strong contenders, though. It's gonna be hard to call!

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