Yesterday afternoon the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals—pigged out on pickled herring in Helsinki. Then we gathered in a sauna to review Softengine’s Eurovision 2014 song “Something Better”. Did it live up to its name? Or did it prove to be something way worse? Read on to find out…
“Something Better” reviews
Angus: Ah Finland – forever trying to capture your one glorious Eurovision success story: Lordi. If Lordi were demons though Softengine are cute and sweet cherubs. This song is quite pleasant but it’s only a façade. Behind the seemingly idyllic composition, cute boys and excellent vocals lies a terrible truth: it makes no sense. It’s difficult to be convinced that they even know what they’re singing. Bless them. Maybe take a few English lessons and come back with something better next year? Ba dum dum tsss! Nice work on the bridge, though. That should go down well in Copenhagen.
Wiwi: If Buddha were an alternative rock musician, he’d write a song like “Something Better”. This is a about appreciating what you have while it’s here, and accepting that life is ephemeral and passing. Among the things I appreciate is this song.From the opening keyboard riff to the raucous bridge to the screaming finish, it builds in intensity and complexity, and each layer is better than the one before. The darkness of the lead singer’s vioce and the angry undercurrent of the song suggest he’s singing something profound. Even if the lyrics are occasionally non-sensical, I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt. As the only number from alt-pop-rock genre, it has a real chance to surprise in Copenhagen.
Billy: Amazing entry from Finland this year! It may lack an original sound, but for sure the lyrics, the rhythm and the whole style of this entry are perfect. It will make the crowds dance and go crazy! Softengine will give a spectacular performance, and the result will be great. I generally love this style!
Bogdan: Since we last reviewed “Something Better” back in January (wow!), I haven’t really changed my mind. This is a decent effort (minus the mind-boggling lyrics) by a decent band with cute guys and bad English skills. Towards the end of the song, Topi keeps screaming “We found”, but it actually sounds like “We fall”. Let’s hope you don’t, guys.
Vebooboo: Last year Finland shocked much of Europe with a scandalous Lesbian kiss. This year the nation will blow you away with one of the most professionally written songs of the year…and, um, it’s sung by a group of barely pubescent teens. So yeah, like size, age clearly doesn’t matter. I would say that Softengine has a bright future ahead of them, that “something better” truly does lie far beyond Eurovision…but I’m seriously worried that the lead singer’s vocal chords will be shot before he reaches the tender age of 20. I mean, seriously dude, you can’t shriek that violently and get away with it long-term. Preserve yourself, boo! But from a more selfish perspective, the combination of desperate shrieking and a much softer, catchy back-up vocal make for a delicious combination.
Deban: My thoughts on ‘Something Better’ centre on the fact that there are better songs in this year’s show. The running order could either save, or kill this song in an instant. How it fares on the night depends on many factors, including the band’s enunciation, and choreography, which both need a lot of work. Despite that, this is has the potential to be a solid stadium-rock effort. It has hues of The Killers, and Sinplus. I like the ingenuity behind the group’s name too. A clever oxymoron for an emerging pop-rock band.
Katie: I don’t know why the lead singer sounds so depressed and is mumbling so much at the beginning, because his song is great! I really hope he’s took a few more English lessons since the UMK final. The chorus is definitely the best part, where the electric guitars really kick in. Softengine are a brilliant band, and I’ll keep listening to this song after Eurovision. Imagine the atmosphere in Copenhagen when they perform! There’s not any other song like it at Eurovision this year, so hopefully it’ll do well.
Padraig: They may have the look of a boyband but stylistically Softengine are more akin to the likes of 30 Seconds to Mars or Biffy Clyro. And they are certainly a step above the soft rock bands which we’ve become accustomed to at Eurovision. But then that wouldn’t be hard. With its rousing chorus the song merits multiple listens and I LOVE the keyboard riff. It’s just a shame that the lyrics seem to have been written using Google Translate, resulting in random bouts of meaningless gobbledygook.
Sami: I’m still very sad that Mikko Pohjola isn’t representing us. However, there are quite a few ballads sung by male vocalists at Eurovision this year, so I think Softengine might stand out more as the only rock group in the contest. I have never been the biggest fan of “Something Better”, but after the UMK final it has really grown on me. I’m glad they revamped the song, because the official Eurovision version is better than the previous versions. I think they will get to the final, but I don’t know if they will place any better than Krista did last year. Krista was a million times better and had so much more personality.
Zach: Ahh, Softenvagina *err I mean Softengine, what can I say about them? Well, to put it simply 2004 called, they want their alternative rock back. This sounds like it could be a lost in the mix track on a Nickelback album from their mid 2000’s surge in popularity. Sub-par vocals, dated sound, cheesy lyrics, just all around “bleh” for me. Finland looks poised to continue their yearly qualify, not qualify record, especially with Norway being the only Nordic in their Semi Final. Where’s my Hanna Sky?
All 19 jurors review the songs, but we only have room to share 10 reviews. The remaining nine scores are listed below.
James L: 6/10
Maxim Montana: 5/10
William C: 6.7/10
The highest and lowest scores are dropped before calculating the final average. We have dropped a low of 3 and a high of 10.
The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 6.19/10
You can check out our latest Eurovision 2014 reviews and rankings on the Wiwi Jury page. You can keep up-to-date on the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following the team on Twitter @wiwibloggs and by liking our Facebook page.